The Chicago Journal

Abortion drug advocated for restrictions

Abortion — An anti-abortion organization petitioned the Supreme Court on Tuesday to keep limits on the abortion drug mifepristone in place while the pill’s legality is debated.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito temporarily relaxed the restrictions on Friday at 11:59 p.m. The date is Wednesday.

The decision was taken as a reaction to an emergency request from the Justice Department and Danco Laboratories, the corporation in charge of distributing mifepristone.

The Justice Department and Danco both requested the Supreme Court to expedite its assessment of the case and make a conclusion before the summer vacation.

The Supreme Court, which has a conservative 6-3 majority, may rule on the issue.

The Comstock Act

If the case is considered, the Alliance Defending Freedom group has petitioned the Supreme Court to examine the Comstock Act of 1873.

Mifepristone mailing is practically prohibited under the Act.

If the complaint is heard, the anti-abortion organization will urge the court to investigate whether the FDA lawfully allowed mifepristone in 2000.

Mifepristone is frequently used with another medication, misoprostol.

In the United States, it is the most prevalent technique of terminating a pregnancy, accounting for more than half of all abortions.

If lower court findings against mifepristone are upheld, abortion access might be restricted, perhaps affecting areas where abortion is still legal.


The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a conservative Christian legal group created in 1994 to promote religious liberty, human life sanctity, and traditional marriage and family values.

ADF has defended individuals who allege their religious liberty has been infringed in a number of high-profile cases in the United States and across the world.

The organization offers legal advice and representation to people and groups and has been involved in abortion, marriage equality, and religious freedom disputes.

Many conservative and religious organizations have lauded the group’s efforts, while detractors accuse it of supporting discriminatory and exclusionary policies.

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FDA accusation

Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom accused the FDA of improperly decreasing mifepristone limitations over time.

The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a collection of anti-abortion physicians, is represented by the organization.

Former FDA officials, the pharmaceutical industry, 23 states in the United States, hundreds of members of Congress, and major medical organizations have all officially disputed the allegations.

The FDA decided that mifepristone was both efficacious and safe after a rigorous scientific assessment.

When Congress authorized it, the deduction for drug control fell under its purview.

Former FDA officials and large pharmaceutical companies cautioned the Supreme Court in a second brief that lower court verdicts will drastically limit the FDA’s regulatory authority and hamper research, development, and investment in innovative therapies.

Suspension and blockade

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled earlier this month that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, as well as subsequent FDA attempts to improve access to the medicine, were illegal.

However, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the FDA authorization while rejecting aspects of Kacsmaryk’s judgment.

Instead, they reinstated limitations on mifepristone use and distribution.

The appeals halted the mailing of mifepristone, requiring them to seek medical attention.

It also extended the period during which women may use the medicine, extending it until the seventh week of pregnancy.

Furthermore, in 2019, the Circuit halted the approval of GenBioPro’s generic mifepristone.


For the time being, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has overruled lower court findings, authorizing the administration of mifepristone.

Others, though, were upset with the choice.

The Alliance Defending Freedom’s attorneys, under Erik Baptist’s leadership, argued:

“Women will still have access to chemical abortion drugs under the same restrictions that existed for the first 16 years of mifepristone’s use.”

“The only effect of the lower court’s order is to restore a modicum of safety for the women and girls who use the drug, including supervision and oversight by a physician.”

Lower court rulings

In their emergency petitions to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department and Danco contended that the lower court rulings would effectively pull mifepristone off the market for months, despite the fact that the FDA would merely change the medication’s labeling to conform with the 5th Circuit’s judgment.

The lawsuit and lower court judgments have been highly disappointing, according to US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar.

It would also have far-reaching consequences for the pharmaceutical business, women’s health, and the FDA’s approval power.

The government also claimed that complying with the appeals court verdict would violate a competing court order issued by Judge Thomas Rice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

Rice has prevented the FDA from limiting mifepristone supplies in 17 states, including Washington, DC.

Mike Pence joins Trump and Biden in holding documents

Mike Pence: Over a dozen pieces of classified documents were discovered at the former vice president’s Indiana home last week by a lawyer working on his behalf.

People familiar with the matter claim that the attorney gave the FBI the papers.

Since then, the National Security Division of the Justice Department and the FBI have taken it upon themselves to review the information.

They are also looking into how the files ended up at Mike Pence’s house in Indiana.

The news

The classified papers were found at Pence’s Carmel, Indiana, residence.

It comes after the discovery of confidential documents in President Joe Biden’s residence and office.

Mike Pence argued strenuously that he possessed any classified data before the information was discovered.

The contents of the documents and their level of confidentiality are not yet disclosed.

When Pence’s staff heard about the documents on Tuesday night, they immediately informed the appropriate congressional leaders and committees.

Out of a sense of prudence, the former vice president requested that his lawyer, who was familiar with confidential information, visit his home.

Lawyer Matt Morgan allegedly found a few papers marked “classified” last week while going through four boxes at Pence’s house.

They advised the National Archives of their discoveries, who subsequently informed the Justice Department.

The pickup

When the FBI sought to relocate the records that evening, Mike Pence reportedly consented, according to his attorney.

On Monday, his legal team returned the boxes to Washington, DC, and gave them to the Archives for examination in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.

According to a letter by Greg Jacob, Mike Pence’s representative at the Archives, a small collection of documents were unintentionally packaged and shipped to Pence’s residence.

“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” wrote Jacobs.

“Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”

The boxes

According to sources, Pence’s temporary house in Virginia is where the packages holding the sensitive documents were held before being shipped to Indiana.

The boxes were taped, even though they weren’t kept in a safe place.

According to Pence’s attorney, there was no sign that the things had been opened.

The documents were kept in a safe inside the residence when they were discovered.

The former Vice President’s advocacy organization’s Washington, DC, headquarters, according to the lawyer, are the subject of an investigation.

However, no additional records could be found.

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Biden and Trump

The investigation on Joe Biden and Donald Trump was the same that resulted in the revelation of Mike Pence’s possession of sensitive documents.

Rumors that he is getting ready to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 coincide with the statement.

In August 2022, the FBI filed a search warrant and examined Trump’s Florida home.

Vice President Mike Pence asserted that he didn’t have any classified information at that time.

“No, not to my knowledge,” said Pence.

He was again questioned about whether or not he had carried any documents home in November.

He claimed not to have.

“Well, there’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area,” Pence explained.

“But I will tell you that I believe there had to be many better ways to resolve that issue than executive a search warrant at the personal residence of a former president of the United States.”

VP residence and White House boxes

When Mike Pence declared his departure as vice president, the process was drawn out.

They went through every single Presidential Records Act-covered document, both classified and unclassified, and turned it in.

The procedure was avoided since the vast bulk of the papers and Pence’s personal files were located apart from his home.

He maintains a secure area at his home near the US Naval Observatory in Washington where he processes sensitive information.

As the Trump administration drew to a close, some boxes at the Indiana residence were packed from the vice president’s residence, while others arrived from the White House.

Effect on Biden situation

The documents discovered at Mike Pence’s residence mark the third instance of a president or vice president hoarding classified material inappropriately after leaving office.

The mishandling of classified documents by Biden and Trump is currently under investigation by special counsels.

A source claims that Pence’s most recent discoveries point to a structural issue with the Presidential Records Act and classified materials.

The FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington home on Friday in search of further important documents..

When Biden’s attorneys discovered classified info in his private office in November 2022, they conducted the search.

The defense team for Biden highlighted that they are working with the Justice Department and attempting to distinguish their client’s position from that of Trump.

The news from Tuesday is good for Biden’s allies and government officials.

“It turns down the temperature on this being a Biden-only story,” said one official.

They expressed anticipation that the Mike Pence records would show that Biden’s staffers weren’t the only ones to improperly pack sensitive information.

Extremist group in the US: 2 members charged

Extremist groupOn Monday, two persons were charged with conspiring to assault the city of Baltimore, Maryland’s electrical infrastructure.

Federal authorities’ court filings claim that a neo-Nazi leader planned to assault electrical substations with a woman he was seeing.

They went for the neighboring facilities in an effort to completely destroy Baltimore.

What happened

The Justice Department filed charges against Sarah Beth Clendaniel and Brandon Clint Russell for conspiring to destroy the electrical grid.

Allegations state that the plan against Maryland on the grounds of race or ethnicity was supported by extreme ideologies.

The two allegedly sought to “inflict maximum harm on the power grid,” according to Tom Sobocisnki, the director of the FBI field office in Baltimore.

“The accused were not just talking, but taking steps to fulfill their threats and further their extremist goals,” said Sobocisnki.

The accusations follow domestic experts’ cautions that extremist groups are attempting to attack power facilities more frequently.

Extremist groups attacking

Two bullets were fired at a power substation in Moore County, North Carolina, in the second part of 2022.

The attack resulted in the loss of energy for 45,000 homes and businesses.

Experts believe that domestic extremist groups may already be preparing other assaults of this nature.

It follows a November FBI warning, the aim of which is still unknown, which cautioned that extremist groups posed a threat to incite societal instability and urge further slaughter.

“This typically primitive style attack equals millions of dollars in damage,” said former US Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Brian Harrell.

“If you were to shoot some very key components, you can quickly create an effect where this large multimillion transformer becomes essentially a paperweight.”

According to the Department of Energy, there were 25 violent assaults on US power plants in 2017.

In addition, 57 complaints of suspicious behavior and 80 vandalism incidents were documented.

With six violent attacks, two sabotage complaints, 32 reports of suspicious behavior, and 52 acts of vandalism, the statistics reflect an increase from 2021 reports.

Most of the reports most likely originate from members of extremist groups.

Court appearance

Monday afternoon in Baltimore’s downtown, District Court Judge Richard Collins received Sarah Beth Clendaniel for the first time.

She shook her head as she went over the allegations against her in order to prepare for the hearing.

Kirstin Hopkins, Clendaniel’s court-appointed attorney, cooperated with the government’s request to keep the defendant locked up while awaiting more hearings.

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She will presumably enter a plea during a subsequent court appearance.

On February 15, her case will also get a preliminary hearing.

Brandon Clint Russell’s initial court appearance was planned for Monday in Orlando.

However, there is presently no updated information surrounding his hearing.


Clendaniel is accused of telling FBI informants during discussions that were taped in January that the facilities were the subject of a scheme to destroy the whole city.

According to the charge documents, she and Russell allegedly supplied the source the facility information.

Brandon Clint Russell also allegedly supplied them a YouTube video of the attack on the North Carolina substation, the informant claimed.

In addition, he is said to have started a neo-Nazi group in his community.

Authorities claim that before planning to target the electrical grid in Maryland, he and his roommates planned a similar attack in Florida.

After a roommate looked into the 2017 murders of two of his roommates, evidence of the alleged conspiracy was found.

Officials stated that Russell and Clendaniel were involved in a real-life and online connection at the news briefing on Monday.


Russell has been in touch with the FBI insider using the name “Homunculus” since June 2022, according to the Justice Department.

Over the course of the next months, he is said to have discussed starting an assault on crucial infrastructure with the source multiple times.

The source and Homunculus talked about Mylar balloons at one point.

He allegedly described additional possible attacks on electrical substations and added that punching holes in transformers is “the greatest thing somebody can do.”

“Something worthwhile”

As “Nythra88” and “Kali1889,” Sarah Beth Clendaniel allegedly introduced herself to the FBI source in January.

She allegedly informed the source that she wanted to do something meaningful before passing away from a devastating disease, per the charging paperwork.

She asked for assistance to get firearms.

According to the source, Homunculus and Clendaniel briefed them about their plans to attack power plants.

According to the allegations made by the prosecution, the source recorded a voice conversation that lasted more than two hours on January 24.

Clendaniel sent the informant a message five days later stating that they will target the facilities near Baltimore.


The court papers showed that the two extremist group members had been in contact since at least 2018, while they were both incarcerated at different facilities.

Following his admission to carrying an unregistered device and illegally storing explosive materials, Russell was given a 60-month term in January 2018.

According to court records, his roommate and their other two roommates were informed that he was the group’s leader at the time.

The roommate said that the group intended to strike major US infrastructure including a nuclear plant and electrical wires near Alligator Alley (around Interstate 75).

Court records state that after killing the other two roommates for harassing him for switching from neo-Nazi ideology to Islam, the roommate was questioned by police.

At the time of his release in the newly reported case, Russell was on supervised release.

Clendaniel’s record revealed a number of violations when he was being held in custody in 2006, including an armed robbery at a convenience store using a huge butcher knife.

She received a five-year jail term.

Penguin Random House merge with Paramount dropped


Penguin Random House is one of the oldest and best-known book publishers in the United States.

It initially planned to merge with Simon & Schuster, but Paramount recently canceled the deal.

Paramount also decided not to appeal the recent federal court decision blocking the publishers’ merger.

The news

Penguin Random House is a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann.

According to a Paramount SEC filing, Penguin is required to pay the parent company of Simon & Schuster a $200 million penalty.

The $2.17 billion proposal was announced in November 2020.

Last month, US District Court Judge Florence Pan ruled that merging the book publishers would unlawfully restrict competition.

In 2021, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, one of the Biden administration’s first significant antitrust actions.

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Simon & Schuster

The parent company of Simon & Schuster says that it is still looking for buyers in a statement.

“Simon & Schuster is a highly valuable business with a recent record of strong performance,” they wrote.

“However, it is not video-based and therefore does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster President and CEO Jonathan Karp wrote an email saying the news was still fresh.

“And at this point, I have no specific information to impart about what will happen in the coming months,” said Karp.

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The lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, the settlement would have given the merged company more control over how much its writers were compensated.

Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster are currently among the prominent book publishers in the United States and members of the “Big Five.”

Additionally, the lawsuit argues that fewer bidders would be available for the highly anticipated books.

The lower the bidders, the greater the potential blow for authors seeking to have their work published.


Penguin Random House’s $2.2 billion deal for Simon & Schuster is over