Someone at MSNBC must have thought that calling Joy Reid’s weeknight wonderland of wokeism “The Reidout” would be pithy and apt. But, given her propensity for hyperbolic outbursts, “The Freakout” might be a better name.
On the Friday edition of her program, mere hours after an unnamed majority of U.S. Supreme Court Justices gave their okay to a January FDA move to allow retail pharmacies to sell the abortion pill Mifepristone in-store, Reid attacked Justice Samuel Alito for being the only other justice to openly join Clarence Thomas in offering a public dissent. And Reid’s screed was so over-the-top, one can’t help but hear the chorus to David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” and reimagine it as, “Freakout in a Joy Reid daydream, oh, yeah…”
Reid really didn’t like what Alito said, and, in live chatter with MSNBC legal panelist” Lisa Rubin and National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) President Mini Timmaraju, Reid offered a portion of Alito’s public dissent:
“Let me just skip to this part: ‘Here, the government has not dispelled legitimate doubts that it would even obey an unfavorable order in these cases, much less that it would choose to take enforcement actions to which it has strong objections.’"
Any reasonable skeptic of Alito’s opinion – any “dissenter from his dissent” – might ask if this is a warranted fear. He or she might research Biden policies and the official -- even personal -- ways he has engaged in activity that has been unwarranted by the U.S. Constitution or even fundamental ethics, and see if Alito might be justified.
But this kind of research and thoughtful exploration isn’t what Reid serves on her program. Instead, she offered:
"That’s a pretty glaring admission of weakness and a pretty churlish thing to write down in your dissent. This guy seems to be all in his feelings that the American people oppose his attempts to play mullah instead of Supreme Court justice and ban abortion."
MSNBC's Joy Reid refers to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito as "Mullah Alito." pic.twitter.com/khxlEjeS5P— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) April 20, 2023
Because, as everyone knows, a judge who expresses worries about an Executive Branch rejecting a Supreme Court ruling is akin to an Islamic religious leader issuing edicts on Koranic Law.
Reid could have taken the time to explain to viewers the fundamentals of the case, which had been appealed to the Supreme Court after the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) brought suit in November, last year, in the Northern US District Court of Texas, Amarillo Division, on behalf of the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, and four pro-life doctors.
She could have explained that the plaintiffs won in that court, and the judge ordered a halt to the FDA approval of the abortion pill, based on very fundamental definitions, as noted by the ADF, and as reported by MRCTV at the time of the initial filing. The key to the Alliance argument was that the FDA (we can discuss its dubious “constitutionality” later) accepted and promoted the argument that Mifepristone cured a malady – that, somehow, the natural creation and sustainment of a human life in the womb was a disease that the abortion drug “cured.”
Wrote ADF at the time:
“’Pregnancy is not an illness, and chemical abortion drugs don’t provide a therapeutic benefit—they end a baby’s life and they pose serious and life-threatening complications to the mother,’ said ADF Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake. ‘The FDA never had the authority to approve these dangerous drugs for sale. We urge the court to listen to the doctors we represent who are seeking to protect girls and women from the documented dangers of chemical abortion drugs.’”
In fact, the FDA has played fast and loose with this drug for quite some time. As Kaitlin Lewis writes for Newsweek:
"Mifepristone was first approved by the FDA in 2000 for medical termination of a pregnancy through the first seven weeks of gestation. The decision was extended, however, in 2016 to allow the drug to be used up to 10 weeks' gestation.
Other decisions have been made since that have expanded access to the abortion pill, which is used in over half of medically terminated pregnancies in the U.S. In December 2021, the FDA removed the requirement that mifepristone could only be dispensed in-person, and in January, the administration approved a rule change that allows retail pharmacies to offer the medication."
Some would call it poison, not medication. And that’s part of the problem with the “approval” of the “medication.” It doesn’t cure a malady.
Some also would recognize that the manufacture or sale of poison is not an aggressive act, let alone something that should see federal intervention from a “Food and Drug Administration” that has no place in the U.S. Constitution.
But, on the unjustified normative level at which Reid, the SCOTUS, and most US politicians and bureaucrats at the FDA operate, the Constitution is irrelevant to them, and they go by what the “statutes” say for the FDA.
This is what Alito and Clarence Thomas (who wrote a separate dissent), found to be one of the key problems with the Biden FDA approval of the drug for in-store sale.
The Biden move is predicated on an assumption that runs counter to the meanings of “illness” and “cure,” thus undercutting the rational of FDA “rules” going back to its establishment of “safe and effective” standards in the 1960s.
A constitutionalist easily can argue that even those standards are illegitimate, based on the lack of any legitimate constitutional justification for the FDA itself. But, this is not where Alito and Thomas took their stand.
Nor did Texas District Attorney Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, when he found in favor of blocking the FDA approval.
They simply looked at the FDA’s own stated standards, and found this approval to be utterly inconsistent.
Evidently, Reid doesn’t like someone pointing out consistency, and she will liken such a person to a mullah in a theological state.
The trouble is, she is the one pushing a religion. It is the secular religion of state-worship itself, of the idea that anything the state wants, the state gets, as long as it fits her preferences – for she adores the state, wants more of its edicts, and shows absolutely no interest in checking out even the most basic terms of that government when the government breaches its own rules, but the breaches are to her liking - when those breaches bring death to innocent babies.
The debate about the FDA itself is an important one in which to engage. For now, we can draw a profound lesson about Reid’s temperament and her view on life by seeing how intensely she attacked Justice Samuel Alito.
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