Will Baude Writes About the Shadow Docket After the Supreme Court’s Mifepristone Stay

The Supreme Court’s Mifepristone Stay

Last night the Supreme Court entered a short but important order staying an order issued by the Northern District of Texas in the mifepristone litigation "pending disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, if such a writ is timely sought." This means that the case now has time to proceed in a more orderly fashion, with merits consideration by the Fifth Circuit and a less compressed timeline for cert. briefing before the Supreme Court.

Like everybody else, I've been forced to learn about the legal issues on a very compressed timeline, but the Supreme Court's stay seems correct to me. At a minimum, I don't think plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed on the argument that they have standing in light of Summers v. Earth Island Institute (see Adam Unikowsky for this point and more). And given the importance of the case, it seems obviously certworthy if the Fifth Circuit continues to uphold the district court's rulings against the FDA.

Two justices publicly noted their dissent. (This being the shadow docket, it is possible that there are 1-2 other justices who did not vote for a stay, but chose not to publicly note their votes once they lost.) Justice Thomas noted without further explanation that he "would deny the applications for stays." (I can imagine both defensible and indefensible reasons for this, though as I note, I think the stays should have been granted.)

Read more at The Volokh Conspiracy

The judiciary