Photo of Bexis

On March 18, 2024, the Supreme Court heard argument in a matter, National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo, No. 22-842, that from its caption would seem to have nothing to do with our sandbox.

But it might.

One of the issues before the Supreme Court in NRA is whether administrative action, labeled only as “guidance” (in NRA, certain letters issued by the head of the New York State banking agency) were sufficiently coercive – despite not being presented as anything “final” – that they could unconstitutionally restrict speech in violation of the First Amendment.  Appellant NRA, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (among others), contends that the defendant “issued formal guidance letters” that “promised enforcement leniency” and  “urged” the banks it regulated to cease doing business with the NRA for political reasons.  Petitioner’s Br., at 1.  Even though this “guidance” neither had nor claimed to have force of law, it had the desired effect – causing regulated entities to do what the government wanted for “fear of losing our license to do business.”  Id. at 8 (citation and quotation marks omitted).

To us, the analogy is obvious. The FDA also relies heavily on “guidance” that it likewise considers non-“final,” and has similarly done so in ways that impinge on First Amendment-protected speech.Continue Reading Could the Supreme Court Blindside the FDA on the First Amendment?

Photo of Lisa Baird

Of late, the Fifth Circuit has come in for some criticism over rulings involving science, the FDA, and medicines.  But apparently even it has its limits—and Article III standing is one.

In Children’s Health Defense v. FDA, No. 23-50167, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 1528, 2024 WL 244938 (5th Cir. 1/23/24), a non-profit and several

Photo of Bexis

The FDA has taken recent steps that may, or may not, affect product liability litigation.  We’re discussing the “may” aspect.  For purely regulatory analysis, plenty of other commentary is available.

These actions occurred on September 7, 2023, and involve three “draft guidances” bearing on the “§510(k)” substantial equivalence clearance process for medical devices.  Any litigator with even passing knowledge of medical device preemption knows that this − more properly, a prior (1982) version − is the process that the Supreme Court stated, was “focused on equivalence, not safety” in Medtronic, Inc. v. Lohr, 518 U.S. 470, 493 (1996) (emphasis original).Continue Reading Tort-Related Implications of Recent FDA Device Draft Guidances

Photo of Lisa Baird

We have posted a few times (here, here, and here) about the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA/Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Danco Labs., LLC litigation, in which an anti-abortion group is seeking to invalidate regulatory actions taken by the FDA with regard to mifepristone, a pharmaceutical FDA-approved for use