Center for Political Awareness

US Federal Appeals Court Judge James Ho’s Connections to the Anti-Abortion Movement

An extreme right-wing judge and former clerk for Clarence Thomas, James Ho has close ties to anti-abortion and dark money groups. (Click image for article.)

Photo: James Ho (left), a U.S. circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, speaks alongside Thomas Beall Griffith, a former U.S. circuit judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, at a Federalist Society convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10, 2022. (Shuran Huang / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

 

In August, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) ruled that mifepristone—the most widely used abortifacient, and more commonly known as the abortion pill—could no longer be provided by mail. They imposed a new requirement that the medicine only be administered in the presence of a physician. They also limited the use of this drug to the first seven weeks of pregnancy, even though it is safe to use at least throughout the first 10 weeks.

The ruling did overturn a lower federal court edict from Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk—a Trump-appointed judge who failed to disclose to the U.S. Senate and the American people his recent anti-abortion writings—to revoke the FDA’s 23-year old approval of mifepristone as a safe drug for Americans seeking abortions.

The Fifth Circuit’s restrictions are held until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on the case. But abortion-rights supporters are skeptical of the nation’s highest Court, which is still stacked with the same right-wing justices who overturned Roe. In the aftermath of the Dobbs ruling, GOP-controlled states moved immediately to impose restrictive and dangerous abortion bans—creating a dire need for mail-order mifepristone.

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