Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Opinion | Don’t listen to the FDA. Listen to a Trump-appointed judge named Matt.

Opinion | Don’t listen to the FDA. Listen to a Trump-appointed judge named Matt.


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In another thrilling development in this best of all possible worlds, a ruling from a single Trump-appointed judge in Texas might undo the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of one of the two key drugs used in medication-based abortions and render it inaccessible nationwide. I hear you asking a question: Can a judge just do that? Just un-approve a drug? One that’s been tested and found extraordinarily safe over two whole decades?

Yes! This is a real possibility, because our legal system is working just the way it ought to work! In an ideal society, your rights and ability to access medicine and direct the course of your own life are guaranteed and unalterable — unless a Trump-appointed judge named Matt decides to say, “Nah.”

Do the complainants even have standing to sue? Who cares! Matt doesn’t! He’s the same judge who delivered such delightful rulings as “What if I got to be in charge of border policy, myself?” and “Maybe you can discriminate against LGBTQ people by splitting hairs in a sinister way!”

This makes sense. There are so many things we don’t know, but one thing we do know is that when you need the best person to decide exactly what medical options you should have, that person, every time, is a Matt appointed by President Donald Trump who hates the administrative state.

Indeed, in the world where we live, what determines whether you can access a drug is not “Does the FDA approve of it?” or “Does your doctor prescribe it?” but a more important question: “What does Trump-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas think?” This is the fundamental principle that undergirds all our laws, our jurisprudence, all of society, all of medicine.

Just consider: When you are injured (say, because you opened the newspaper and then felt the urge to ram your head into a brick wall while screaming at the top of your lungs) and you need medical advice immediately, whom would you rather contact? A doctor, or Matt? Keep in mind, when answering, that Matt is not a doctor. Actually, do not answer; I have already answered for you.

I remember when I was giving birth and the epidural did not immediately kick in. My first thought was “Get me a Trump-appointed judge named Matt!” I remember having my appendix out, too. To this day, I feel that I didn’t receive adequate care, because the only people involved in the procedure were doctors. I kept shouting, “Where is my Matt? Get me my judge!”

Those places where there was only one set of footprints in the sand? That’s where Matt was walking as your proxy, making every decision for you!

Indeed, there are fewer and fewer choices I feel competent to make without consulting my judge. Say I were faced with an unwanted pregnancy, or a wanted pregnancy that couldn’t be carried to term for any of a whole host of reasons! Imagine leaving something like that up to me, or my doctors! I certainly wasn’t appointed by Trump, and I don’t think any of my doctors were, either.

I know you might worry that this decision could be appealed, even up to the Supreme Court, potentially undermining the tried-and-true practice of entrusting life’s biggest decisions to a Matt. Could the Supreme Court leave the decision about mifepristone in the hands of the FDA instead?

But remember that the Supreme Court is itself full of people who decide things on a similarly rational basis. After all, there’s a Neil and a Brett— appointed by Trump, too! — both fully capable of looking at rights and saying, “Nah.”

So there’s no need to worry about Matt at all. Everything is in good hands. Matt’s.



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