Though details of federal cases are usually announced on a publicly available court docket, Kacsmaryk attempted to conceal news of the hearing to avoid public ire. In a conference call on Friday, according to the Washington Post, Kacsmaryk told attorneys he had received threats and said he would try to keep the hearing off the docket until late Tuesday to circumvent protests.
Though Kacsmaryk did not succeed in keeping knowledge of the hearing under wraps, access to Wednesday’s proceedings remained extremely limited. Only 19 journalists and 19 members of the public were reportedly permitted inside the courtroom, and recording was forbidden. A line for those hoping to snag one of the 38 seats started forming outside the courthouse before sunrise.
A small gathering of protesters gathered outside the courthouse during the hearing, some holding signs bearing pro-abortion rights messages. One dressed in costume, donning a kangaroo suit under a judicial robe, mocking the proceedings as a “kangaroo court.”
Kacsmaryk, the Northern District of Texas judge who ruled on the case, was appointed by then-president Donald Trump in 2019. He has a track record of opposing marriage for same-sex couples, and last year, he ruled that Texas minors couldn’t get birth control without a parent’s permission.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the FDA said it “does not comment on possible, pending or ongoing litigation.”
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