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WASHINGTON — Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, has left a trail of rulings and opinions concerning the Food and Drug Administration, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers in his dozen years on the District of Columbia circuit court.

At one point, Kavanaugh urged judges to defer to the FDA and other scientific agencies, largely on the grounds that courts could not compete with the agencies’ expertise. He also sided with the FDA in a case over whether the agency should be forced to provide access to an unapproved drug.


Kavanaugh, whom Trump announced as his second nominee to the nation’s highest court on Monday, has sat on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006. Health care, broadly, is expected to figure heavily into the Senate’s fight over his confirmation: specifically, whether Kavanaugh would support upholding provisions that guarantee insurance coverage for Americans with pre-existing health conditions, and whether he would rule in cases involving access to abortion.

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