The Justice Department wants to stop the FDA from regulating death-penalty drugs

Death penalty chamber in Ohio
(Image credit: Mike Simons/Getty Images)

In an opinion earlier this month, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel decided that the Food and Drug Administration "lacks jurisdiction" over drugs used to kill inmates through lethal injection, The Washington Post reports. The Justice Department is siding with Texas, which sued the FDA in early 2017 over the agency's 2015 seizure of 1,000 vials of the anesthetic sodium thiopental — once commonly used in lethal-injection cocktails — from an unregistered overseas distributor.

The issue has caused tension in the Trump administration. More than a year ago, the Post reports, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb — both of whom left the administration last year — had a heated argument in the White House Situation Room, with Sessions demanding that Gottlieb allow execution drugs into the U.S. without any scrutiny and Gottlieb refusing.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us