Reason Roundup

Supreme Court Won't Intervene (Yet) To Stop Abortion Pills From Being Prescribed Remotely

Plus: Trump says he plans to hold rallies despite lack of negative COVID-19 test, Biden won't answer question on court-packing, and more...


The U.S. Supreme Court won't intervene to stop abortion drugs from being remotely prescribed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, abortion-inducing medications must be prescribed and dispensed in person and by a physician, per the rules of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But in July, a federal district court temporarily suspended that requirement.

The Trump administration then challenged the decision, which had been written by Judge Theodore Chuang of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Chuang argued that requiring the (medically unnecessary) in-person visit during a pandemic and lockdown was likely unconstitutional, as it would "place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a medication abortion."

In an October 8 response, the Supreme Court said it would not give its "views on the merits of the District Court's order or injunction," but it asked the District Court "to promptly consider a motion by the Government to dissolve, modify, or stay the injunction, including on the ground that relevant circumstances have changed." It gave the district court 40 days to do so.

The Court's response in the case (FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) "was unusual in that it neither granted nor denied the government's request," notes Reuters.

Justices Samuel Alito dissented, with Clarence Thomas joining him.

For more on what it all means, see Josh Blackman at The Volokh Conspiracy ("Making Sense of FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists") and Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog ("Justices delay action on FDA request to reinstate abortion-pill restrictions").


Trump says he plans to hold rallies despite lack of a negative COVID-19 test. On Thursday, President Donald Trump told Fox's Sean Hannity he had not been tested to see if he was negative for the coronavirus since his positive diagnosis, saying "probably the test will be tomorrow." He also announced plans to hold an in-person rally Saturday night in Florida, and perhaps one in Pennsylvania on Sunday. For the sake of everyone's health (including the president's), let's hope this is just the illness talking.

Trump went on to suggest to Hannity that Joe Biden wanted to demolish U.S. buildings and replace them with "new buildings with tiny windows," said California is in the midst of a water shortage because they were trying to conserve a "certain little tiny fish," and accused the governor of Virginia of saying "we will execute the baby after the baby is born." At several points in the interview, his voice gave out.

Trump—who was supposed to debate Biden on Saturday night, but would not agree for the event to be virtual—also told White House reporters on Thursday that he was still on steroid medication, contradicting his doctor's claim that he had completed his course of treatment.

Biden will now do a solo televised town hall on Saturday.


• Trump-branded Medicare drug cards might be coming soon.

• Biden told reporters yesterday that he would answer about court-packing after the election:

• Some European countries are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases that now tops the U.S.:

• The police tactics that caused Breonna Taylor's death should infuriate Second Amendment advocates, writes Steven Greenhut.

• Robby Soave examines the plot to kidnap Michigan's governor.

• This is getting interesting:

• What could go wrong? (A lot, obviously.)