Abortion Pill Ban Order Appealed: On Its Way to SCOTUS - The Monday AM Quickie 4/10/23

I hope you all had a good holiday weekend. Isn't it weird how there's never been a conservative panic about a "War on Easter" despite it often coinciding with Ramadan and Passover? - Robert


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Abortion Pill Ban Appealed; Heads to SCOTUS

On Friday, a Texas ruling set down by far-right Trump-judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk would make prescription of the abortion pill mifepristone illegal in the entire country, including in states where abortion rights are still protected. But a Washington State judge ruled in the exact opposite way in a case brought by 17 states and Washington D.C.

Kacsmaryk stayed his own order for a week so the federal government had time to appeal, which it has. The case will likely get fast-tracked to the conservative Supreme Court, which struck down Roe v. Wade less than a year ago.

Mifepristone remains available for now. Its companion drug misoprostol, which can induce abortions on its own (though less effectively), is not threatened by the pending ban order.

Many Democratic governors are promising mifepristone will remain available in their states and twelve Democratic senators have petitioned Biden to use "every tool" at his disposal to protect medical abortions. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and AOC are calling for the FDA to simply ignore the Texas ruling altogether.

But the Biden admin is taking a more cautious tact. A source advising the administration on legal strategy told Politico:

“[The Biden administration] is able to present themselves right now as the adults in the room who care about the rule of law,” the person said. “But that posture would come under pressure if they jumped out of the gate and said they wouldn’t abide by the ruling.”

The mainstream abortion rights group NARAL is endorsing Biden’s strategy. However, some legal scholars argued in Slate that Biden need not be sheepish, saying that present legal framework limits the Texas order’s ability to restrict medication access:

[Kacsmaryk] cannot force the FDA to enforce the [Texas] decision. Because the FDA does not have the capacity to enforce its statute against every nonapproved product on the market, it has long been settled law…that the agency has broad enforcement discretion, meaning the agency, not courts, gets to decide if and when to enforce the statute.

If the Texas ruling stands and the FDA relents, it could threaten the FDA approval of other "controversial" drugs such as those used for gender-affirming care and HIV prevention. The case could also be laying the groundwork for a federal abortion ban.

IRS ‘Shadow Army’ to Ramp Up Enforcement on the Wealthy

ProPublica reviewed the IRS’ strategic plan for its $80 billion in new funding. The agency aims to improve customer service, update its computer system, boost hiring, and explore the feasibility of creating a free user-friendly e-file option (get bent TurboTax). It also plans to shift the target of audits away from low-income individuals, whose taxes were easier to scrutinize for the intentionally underfunded agency, to the wealthy. The plan addressed to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen states, "All efforts will comply with your directive not to use IRA resources to raise audit rates on small businesses and households making under $400,000 per year." Previous ProPublica investigations showed that individuals making $20,000 were more likely to get audited than individuals making over $400,000.

Keep Your Friends Close: Leak Shows U.S. Spying on Allies

Dozens of classified intelligence documents were leaked on the internet exposing internal intelligence from the Pentagon, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, law enforcement agencies, and the National Reconnaissance Office--showing U.S. intelligence agencies have been spying on adversaries and allies. According to the Washington Post, the documents were primarily concerning the war in Ukraine, some intelligence indicating weakened Ukrainian forces. The leak also included reports that a Russian private military contractor active in Ukraine, the Wagner Group, had attempted to buy weapons from NATO ally Turkey. Another document showed that leaders in the Israeli spy agency Mossad had "advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest" Netanyahu’s attempts to overhaul the judiciary. The Pentagon severely restricted flow of intelligence Friday in response to the revelations, showing a "high level of panic" according to sources quoted by the Post.


  • McCarthy Leadership In Question Over Budget Fight Discussions of removing Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker have ramped up after the New York Times reported that the speaker called Steve Scalise "ineffective" and lacked confidence in Budget Chair Jodey Arrington. via Axios.
  • McDonalds Lays off Hundreds Via Virtual Call Hundreds of employees at Mickey D’s corporate office, who have a hybrid schedule, were told to stay home this week so the company could lay them off over Zoom. via the New York Times.
  • Bureau of Prisons Proposes to Garnish Prisoners' Wages Up to 50 percent of inmates' income could go to paying court costs, child support, student loans, and other liabilities. via the American Prospect.
  • Ousted Tennessee Lawmakers Expected to be Reappointed Justin Pearson and Justin Jones were expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives for protesting gun control. via Politico and the Tennessean.
  • Twitter Lawyer Responsible for Handling FTC Probe Resigns "Twitter continues to reply with a poop emoji in lieu of comments." via Ars Technica.



That is the percentages of managers that work exclusively on-site according to an Axios analysis of a recent survey. This is compared to 62% of non-management. Managers on average earn almost double that of non-managers, despite not having to come into the office as much.


4/10 Emma hosts author Corban Addison to discuss his recent book Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country On Trial.


Alan Dershowitz Whines About Being A Total Pariah

Chomsky had this guy’s number for a long time.

Marge Greene Compares Trump’s Indictment To Persecution Of Jesus

Let’s hope he won't come back from the political dead after nailing him with indictments.


“My baby should be at rest, I shouldn’t have to be put through this.”

-- Samantha Casiano, a Texas woman who was forced to give birth to her baby with anencephaly - a fatal condition causing the fetus’s brain and skull to underdevelop - because of the state's abortion ban. Casiano’s story was published by NPR and highlighted in Jessica Valenti’s Abortion Every Day blog.

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