All Hail Judicial Activism

Wow.

A federal judge in Utah on Thursday struck down a Food and Drug Administration ban on the herbal supplement ephedra, an adrenalinelike stimulant linked to dozens of deaths.

The ruling, by Judge Tena Campbell of Federal District Court, calls into question whether the F.D.A. can enforce its ban on ephedra anywhere in the United States, though the ruling's immediate effect is restricted to Utah. It also prompted calls on Capitol Hill for legislation to crack down on the supplements industry.

Saying that the drug agency had failed to prove that ephedra at low doses was dangerous, and that it lacked the authority to ban the substance without such proof, Judge Campbell called for the F.D.A. to devise new rules for ephedra.

...

Judge Campbell stated in her ruling that the F.D.A. had failed to prove that low doses of ephedra were dangerous. In fact, she found, the agency was caught in a bind. It suspected that all doses of ephedra posed a risk, suggesting that further research would have been unethical.

I like that last one. "We have concluded from spotty inadequate research that this product is harmful, so further definitive study would be unethical."

Update: Jacob Sullum has more.

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Dave, I'm with you, man.

Dave,

I'm with you, man. The charge is used so much now, it's meaningless. I would say you could make a good tongue-in-cheek case that judges making ederal agents adhere to their powers and making laws mean what they say is "judicial activism."

Just to make make it clear - I unequivocally support the decision made and find it proper.

Wait, are you saying that a

Wait, are you saying that a judge telling the FDA that they didn’t follow the proper procedures is judicial activism?

Activist vs. non-activist is a thin line.

I favor activism so long as it's one of my guys acting.

I favor activism so long as

I favor activism so long as it’s one of my guys acting.

I think that accurately discribes most people's stance on the subject. Not mine.

I disagree with the idea that it's activism though.

Wait, are you saying that a

Wait, are you saying that a judge telling the FDA that they didn't follow the proper procedures is judicial activism?

For a wonderful :grin: bio

For a wonderful :grin: bio of Judge Campbell, written by a former law clerk of hers... go to: http://www.fedbar.org/utah-profile_campbell.pdf

It begins: "Judge Campbell grew up in Wendell, Idaho. She studied French at the University of Idaho and the University of French Studies in Paris... (she) taught French at the high school and junior college level for four years." As an Assistant US Attorney, Judge Campbell tried many complicated cases involving fraud and high finance and due to her proclivity to undermine defense witnesses with disturbing details reflecting on their credibility, she came to be known as "the duchess of dirt". She was appointed to the bench by President Clinton. Wouldn't it have been fun to hear a judge like that tell you her real thoughts about the FDA flouting the law so brazenly and thinking she'd let it slide.

Utah's looking better and

Utah's looking better and better to me all the time.
But then again, I never was a fan of the FDA: A federal judge in Utah on Thursday struck down a Food and Drug Administration ban on the herbal supplement ephedra, an adrenalinelike stimulant linked to dozens of deaths. The ruling, by Judge Tena Campbel...

"Judicial activism" is a

"Judicial activism" is a watch phrase meaning the "small government" conservatives are preparing to make more unnecessary law. They can't get their way in court, so they change the rules...