With Megan R. Wilson and Caitlin Oprysko
JUDGE: THE RIGHT TO ABORTION MAY STILL EXIST – A federal judge in Washington, DC, suggested on Monday that a constitutional right to abortion could be incorporated into the 13th Amendment, according to POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein report.
The case: In a year-old case against 10 defendants accused of conspiring to block access to a Washington, D.C. abortion clinic, one defendant argued that the conspiracy charge was no longer legitimate because the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision removed Congress from the task of making laws relating to abortion access.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs concluded only that the 14th Amendment did not include any abortion rights, but stopped short of permanently excluding other aspects of the Constitution that might apply.
Kollar-Kotelly noted that some legal studies suggest the 13th Amendment — which was ratified at the end of the Civil War and sought to outlaw slavery and “involuntary servitude” — grants the right to access reproductive services. .
And after: Kollar-Kotelly is asking the parties to the criminal case, which involves charges of blocking access to abortion clinics, to present arguments by mid-March.
In particular, she wants them to ask themselves “whether the scope of Dobbs is in fact limited to the Fourteenth Amendment” and “whether, if so, any other provision of the Constitution could confer a right to abortion as an original matter … such as Dobbs may or may not be the final decision on the matter, leaving an open question.
WELCOME TO PULSE TUESDAY — We follow the saga of Flaco the owl, who escaped from the Central Park Zoo after his enclosure was vandalized and has since been seen frequenting the street in front of the Plaza. Stay tuned and send your news and tips to [email protected] And [email protected].
TODAY ON OUR PULSE CHECK PODCAST, Adam Cancryn tells Ben Leonard about his exit interview with David Kessler, who reflected on nearly three years of battling a pandemic as President Joe Biden’s scientific director – and the political fallout. Additionally, Rep. David Schweikert (R-Arizona), co-chair of the Telehealth Caucus, on how technology can become a bigger part of health care delivery.
SOTU WATCH: BIDEN TO PRESS INSULIN PRICE CAP – President Joe Biden will call for extending a new cap on insulin prices to all Americans as part of his State of the Union address, POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn reports.
During Tuesday’s speech, Biden plans to tout his administration’s efforts to make health care more affordable, including imposing a $35-a-month limit on insulin that went into effect in January.
But this price cap, adopted as part of last year Inflation Reduction Act, applied to Medicare beneficiaries only. Biden should renew his efforts to have the policy applied to anyone with an insulin prescription, the White House said in a fact sheet on Monday.
Reality check: Democrats originally planned to pass a universal insulin price cap last year as part of the IRA, which passed along party lines last August. But the policy was scaled back after Republicans successfully challenged its inclusion.
Biden’s new support for expanding the price cap is unlikely to result in concrete progress. Republicans remain opposed to the measure and should not even allow a vote in the House now that they control the chamber.
THE RUST STATE OF TITLE 42 – The Biden administration’s decision to end the federal Covid-19 health emergencies in May left one thing unclear: What exactly was going to happen to the controversial border policy, Title 42, reports Myah Ward of POLITICO.
What is Title 42? The government began using Title 42, a public health order issued by the CDC during the Trump administration, to refuse asylum seekers when the pandemic hit. It has been used over 2 million times for nearly three years.
State of play: Until last week’s announcement, the Supreme Court had to settle the fate of the policy. The justices will hear arguments this month regarding a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican-led states trying to keep the measure in place.
When the Biden administration declared the Covid national and public health emergencies to end on May 11, it noted in a statement to Congress that Title 42 would also end at that time.
But the next day, Biden and his aides made matters murky by suggesting the White House might have to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision to find out the fate of Title 42. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre , referred the journalists to the Ministry of Justice. And the DOJ did not respond to POLITICO’s request for comment on its legal position.
DAVID KESSLER LOOKS BACK – Adam spoke with David Kessler, until recently the scientific director of the White House’s Covid response, at his home in Maryland during his first extended interview since leaving the White House.
He discussed how anti-vax rhetoric resonates with the tobacco industry, why he’s optimistic the politicization of public health won’t last, and why it’s important to find common ground with Tucker Carlson.
Read the full interview.
WHY IS THE MILITARY VACCINES WARRANT BACK IN COURT? A lawyer representing Navy Seals who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 told a federal appeals court on Monday that their lawsuit over the removal of the military vaccination mandate was not moot, even if Congress passed legislation last December ordering the policy overturned, Josh reports. .
During oral arguments in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, their attorney said the service members still face the possibility of disciplinary action for their refusal to get vaccinated and that the government has not ruled out taking into Vaccination status counts when distributing future missions.
A Justice Department lawyer said that National Defense Authorization Act effectively reversed the Biden administration’s policy requiring the military to receive a coronavirus vaccine unless they obtain a religious exemption, rendering moot preliminary injunctions that a Texas federal judge issued earlier this year last against politics.
BURR HEADS TO K STREET – Former Sen. Richard Burr (NC), who had been the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has joined law firm and lobbying firm DLA Piper, Megan report and Caitlin.
Burr, who retired last month after nearly three decades on Capitol Hill, will lead the firm’s strategic health policy advisory practice and serve as a senior policy adviser in its regulatory and governmental affairs practice.
He brings with him Margaret Martin, former senior health policy adviser to the Senate HELP Committee, and Michael Sorensen, who served as its director of operations.
DLA Piper’s clients in health lobbying include B. Braun Medical, a Canadian pharmaceutical and medical device company, and Illumina, the leading manufacturer of gene sequencing machines used in research and development of genetic testing. diagnosis and medication.
Burr lobbied to reform the Food and Drug Administration, including sponsoring the measure that modernized the agency while he served in the House, and played a key role in the development of ARPA-H, the new Biden administration research agency.
He advocated for pandemic preparedness – even before it was cool – and was a sponsor of the original Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act in 2006. The measure, which must be reviewed every five years, must be reauthorized in September.
Although advocates fear Covid has politicized further pandemic measures, Burr tells Megan and Caitlin the reauthorization “should be pretty easy to cross the goal line.”
He is required by ethics rules to refrain from pressuring his former colleagues for two years – a period he jokingly calls “mental health therapy time”. Although he is authorized to lobby the executive, he has no immediate plans to do so, he said.
Burr said he wanted to use his outside influence to shape the bill – which he joked was only raised as a question because he “had failed to do so before my departure”.
CDC DEPUTY INCOMING TO ATTEND SOTU – Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Nirav D. Shah, chosen as the CDC’s next senior deputy director, will join Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) as a guest at Biden’s State of the Union address tonight.
Global consultancy CF announced John Auerbach as the new Senior Vice President of Federal Health. Auerbach most recently served as CDC’s director of intergovernmental and strategic affairs.
Pharmaceutical companies are watching the edge of a Covid cliff as 2023 sales are set to fall, Reuters reports.
Construction workers are being prescribed opioids at an alarming rate. In Rhode Island, an organization is trying to tackle the crisis from within the industry, reports the Boston Globe.
STAT is investigating why EMS responders failed to help Tire Nichols after he was brutally beaten by Memphis police.