Texas judge procrastinates on releasing date of first medication abortion hearing to the public: report
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the "most lawless jurist" who could potentially ban medication abortion nationwide in the coming weeks, delayed releasing the date of the first hearing to the public, The Washington Post reports.
Anti-abortion rights activists filed a lawsuit with assistance from conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, intending to get their case — which has "garnered widespread attention and protests" — into Kacsmaryk's hands.
Although the former President Donald Trump nominated judge decided not to immediately publicize the date of the first hearing, according to The Post, it will be held in the coming week.
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Kacsmaryk held a private call Friday with the case's lawyers and scheduled the hearing for Wednesday, according to the Post. The call was not publicly noticed on the case's docket, nor did the judge issue a public order announcing that Wednesday’s hearing had been scheduled. The case is not under seal.
According to the Post, sources familiar with the matter said the judge confirmed he "would delay putting the hearing on the docket until late Tuesday to try to minimize disruptions and possible protests, and asked the lawyers on the call not to share information about it before then."
The Post reports:
Public access to federal court proceedings is a key principle of the American judicial system, and Kacsmaryks apparent delay in placing the hearing on the docket is highly unusual. The judge and his staff did not respond to emails requesting comment on Saturday evening.The lawsuit seeks to revoke Food and Drug Administration approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in a medication abortion.
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Moreover, delaying the date release could "could make it difficult for the public, the media and others to travel to the courthouse in Amarillo, Texas," according to The Post.
The Post reports:
The rural, deeply conservative city has few direct flights except from Dallas or San Antonio and is at least a four-hour drive from any of the state's major, heavily-Democratic cities. Still, over 150 abortion rights advocates gathered there on a Saturday in mid-February to voice their support for abortion pills.
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The Washington Post's full report is available at this link (subscription required). CNN's full report is here.