Judge Refuses To Delay Ruling Against White House’s Plan B Policy

A federal judge on Friday denied the Obama administration’s request to continue its controversial policy on Plan B until the courts sort out its legality.

U.S. District Court of New York Judge Edward Korman’s move comes after he last month struck down the administration’s decision to place age limits on over-the-counter sale of Plan B emergency contraception. Korman aggressively criticized the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision late 2011 as politically-motivated and unscientific.

In his 17-page decision (PDF) Friday on denying the request, Korman said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “flagrantly violated” the principle of using scientific data for such decisions.

“Yet, in something out of an alternate reality,” he wrote, “the defendants seek a stay to pursue an appeal that would vindicate the Secretary’s disregard of the very principle they advocate.”

The judge also called the administration’s jurisdictional objections to his moves “frivolous.”

Korman may not have the last word as the Obama administration is appealing the decision with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.