What We’re Reading: Texas Abortion Law Gets Supreme Court Hearing; Biden Abandons Drug Pricing Reform; Florida Sues Over Vaccine Mandates

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Texas’ abortion law on November 1; President Joe Biden gives up push for drug pricing reform in social spending bill; Florida governor sues the Biden administration over vaccine mandates for federal workers.

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Over Texas’ Abortion Law

According to Kaiser Health News, on November 1, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ new abortion law, which is among the strictest in the nation. The announcement comes days after the high court agreed to hear the case. This fall, the court will also hear arguments in a case from Mississippi that directly challenges Roe v Wade and other decisions that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion. The court will not need to rule on whether abortion is a constitutional right in the Texas case, which contains 2 lawsuits from the Biden Justice Department and from abortion providers in Texas. The Texas law is designed to evade legal challenges by allowing private citizens to sue anyone who performs or helps someone get an abortion.

Biden Cuts Drug Pricing Reform From Social Spending Bill

Despite the proposal having more than 80% public support, President Joe Biden has eliminated any effort to crack down on drug prices from the social spending package that is being debated in Congress, according to Politico. The failure to include drug pricing reform diverts from one of the main selling points for the Biden administration and could cause public backlash against Democratic leadership. Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said that he hoped that rising prescription drug costs could still be addressed but acknowledged that the pharmaceutical industry has a significant number of lobbyists backing it to prevent even modest changes. Progressive Democrats in Congress say that they plan to keep pushing back against industry influence, particularly on drug pricing.

Florida Sues Biden Administration Over Vaccine Mandates

According to a report from USA Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a lawsuit aimed at blocking the Biden administration from carrying out a measure to require COVID-19 vaccinations for federal employees and contractors. The governor described the mandate as an overreach by the federal government and he said that Florida is seeking a preliminary injunction that would block the federal rule from taking effect on December 8 as scheduled. The announcement comes after 21 Republican state attorneys general penned a letter to Biden saying that the mandate stands on shaky legal ground for federal contractors. Meanwhile, the Department of Education asked an administrative judge to issue a cease-and-desist order against Florida and rule that the state is violating federal law by trying to cut aid money to school districts that enforce mask mandates.