A Trump judge in Texas has been sitting on a case the cigarette companies filed against the FDA’s mandated health warning labels for two years. By not acting, he has effectively blocked the labels nationally but, by not ruling, there has been nothing for the Justice Department to appeal.
The DOJ filing (below) is finally threatening to take action in the Court of Appeals to force Judge Barker to issue a decision. As DOJ wrote, “the rule’s effective date has been postponed by over two years even though no Court has concluded that the rule is unlawful or should be preliminarily enjoined.”
DOJ also pointed out that, “the Court has postponed the effective date of the Food and Drug Administration’s cigarette health warnings rule nine times, the last eight of which have been over [government’s} continuing objection and four of which have been sua sponte [done by the judge even though neither the tobacco plaintiffs nor government asked for it].”
Even threatening to take the issue to the Court of Appeals is a serious step for the government to take, considering this is a federal judge that likely will hear many cases involving the federal government for many years into the future.