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Supreme Court refuses experimental drugs, environmental cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday denied [order list, PDF] without comment a petition for certiorari filed in Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach (07-444) [docket], a case challenging the constitutionality of the government's ability to deny terminally ill patients access to medications that have yet to receive full regulatory approval. The Abigail Alliance and the Washington Legal Foundation [advocacy websites] initially filed the lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in 2003 seeking to enjoin the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] from enforcing a policy which prohibits patients with no other treatment options from purchasing experimental drugs. In August 2007, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled [opinion, PDF] that terminally ill patients have no constitutional right to access to experimental drugs. Reuters has more.

The Supreme Court also denied petitions for certiorari Monday in the consolidated cases of National Petrochemical & Refiners Association v. South Coast Air Quality Management District (07-311) and Chamber of Greater Baton Rouge v. South Coast Air Quality Management District (07-333) [dockets], two cases challenging a refusal by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] to do away with certain ozone protection requirements after more stringent standards had been implemented. AP has more.

Finally, the Supreme Court Monday dismissed the case of Huber v. Wal-Mart (07-480) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] after having granted certiorari [JURIST report] in December to consider whether a disabled employee who requires transfer to an equivalent position can be required to compete with other employees for the new position. The dismissal was made under court Rule 46.1 [Rules text, PDF] governing cases subject to settlement agreements. AP has more.

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