Justice KBJ Smacks Down Alito's 'Scientific Knowledge' Of Abortion Drugs

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson brought Justice Samuel Alito’s “scientific knowledge” of abortion drugs into question on Tuesday.

During a hearing that could result in a ban on the abortion drug Mifepristone, Alito asked Jessica Ellsworth, a lawyer for Danco Laboratories, if the FDA was infallible.

“During the questioning of the Solicitor General, the statement was made that no court has ever previously second-guessed the FDA’s judgment about access to a drug, right?” Alito said. “Do you think the FDA is infallible?”

“We don’t think that question is really teed up in any way in this case,” Ellsworth replied.

Moments later, Jackson responded to Alito’s question by asking about the “scientific knowledge” of judges.

“So you were asked if the agency is infallible, and I guess I’m wondering about the flip side, which is do you think that courts have specialized scientific knowledge with respect to pharmaceuticals, and as a company that has pharmaceuticals, do you have concerns about judges parsing medical and scientific studies?” Jackson said.

“I think we have significant concerns about that, and there are two amicus briefs from the pharmaceutical industry that expand on why exactly that’s so concerning for pharmaceutical companies who do depend on FDA’s gold standard review process to approve their drugs and then to be able to sell their products in line with that considered judgment,” Ellsworth replied.

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