In a move that has stunned even the most progressive members of their party, some Democrats are pushing for President Joe Biden to ignore a court ruling that suspended the FDA’s approval for the abortifacient drug mifepristone.
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) last week called for the administration to “ignore” the ruling by a federal judge in Texas, who had blocked the FDA’s approval of the drug.
“There is an extraordinary amount of precedent for this,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “There is a term known as agency non-acquiescence, and this has been used. And for folks saying this is a first, that this is precedent-setting, it is not.”
However, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), appearing on the same show, rejected Ocasio Cortez’s call.
“It’s hard to ignore the rule of law,” she said. “And we have a court system and an appeals system for a reason. So I think the Biden administration is correct in actually fighting this in the Supreme Court.”
Gillibrand also blasted the Supreme Court over its previous rulings on abortion.
“When you take away 50 percent of America’s right to privacy, to say women don’t have it during their reproductive years, it is such an overstretch and an outrageous statement that I think, when people wake up to the reality of what this means for a conservative court where they believe they should impose their views of the world, their religious beliefs, their views on health care, on the FDA’s decision of 20 years ago of a drug that has been deemed very safe?”
This week, the Supreme Court is set to decide whether to continue blocking the rules imposed by the Fifth Circuit or to re-impose them, while it hears the Biden administration’s appeal to the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. This could significantly restrict access to the drug nationwide.
The push by Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats for the Biden administration to ignore a court ruling has been met with shock and outrage from both sides of the aisle, with many arguing that such a move would undermine the rule of law and the legitimacy of the US court system. The Supreme Court’s decision this week will be watched closely by both sides of the abortion debate.