EXCLUSIVE — A group of Republican attorneys general is demanding that Democrats retract their suggestion that the Biden administration should defy a court order aimed at stopping the distribution of the abortion pill mifepristone.
Last week, a federal judge in Texas signed an injunction that directed the FDA to halt its more than 20-year-old approval of mifepristone while a lawsuit challenging its safety and approval works its way through court.
Democrats were incensed by the ruling, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who said that the Biden administration should “ignore” it. She said “deeply partisan” judges have “engaged in unprecedented and dramatic erosion of the legitimacy of the courts.”
“The interesting thing when it comes to a ruling is that it relies on enforcement,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN. “And it is up to the Biden administration to enforce, to choose whether or not to enforce a ruling.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb/Alastair Grant)
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued a similar statement that called on President Biden and the FDA to ignore the ruling that he said has no “basis in law” but is “rooted in conservatives’ dangerous and undemocratic takeover of our country’s institutions.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said on CNN last week, “What you saw — by that one judge, in that one court, in that one state — that’s not America.”
Nine Republican AGs say those statements are so egregious, the Democrats need to retract them “or resign.”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, along with eight other Republican AGs who filed briefs in support of the ruling, sent a letter to those outspoken Democrats that scolded them for their statements, which they said are “akin to a call to overthrow the Constitution.”
“This is the most anti-rule of law administration we’ve had in recent history. The fact that Becerra is even considering this means he should resign immediately,” Bailey told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“This is the most anti-rule of law administration we’ve had in recent history,” Bailey told Fox News Digital. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb, File)
“Expressing mere disagreement with a court order, as all attorneys have done, is nothing like your call for the FDA not to comply with a court order. The difference between the two is enormous. For a party to defy a court order simply because one does not like it is an attack on our very system of government and the rule of law,” the AGs stated in the letter exclusively reviewed by Fox News Digital.
“You ought to know better,” the AGs wrote. “Like each of us, you have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution. Your anti-Constitution rhetoric is more than just wrong. It also erodes the culture of the rule of law that has taken centuries to build.
“Other nations have fallen into tyranny quickly when those who should have been upholding the rule of law chose instead to lead mobs against it. Your rash, inflammatory, anti-Constitution statements are unacceptable.
“You must retract or resign.”
On Wednesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 2-1 to keep mifepristone available only to be dispensed up to seven weeks, not 10, and not by mail, a decision that partially overturned the Texas ruling.
Bottles of abortion pills mifepristone, left, and misoprostol, right, at a clinic in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
On Thursday, the Justice Department weighed in by asking the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the entire injunction issued by the Texas judge.
“The Justice Department strongly disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA to deny, in part, our request for a stay pending appeal,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “We will be seeking emergency relief from the Supreme Court to defend the FDA’s scientific judgment and protect Americans’ access to safe and effective reproductive care.”
Representatives for AOC, Wyden and Becerra did not immediately respond to Fox New Digital’s request for comment on the letter.
Fox News Digital’s Adam Sabes contributed to this report.