Bracing for end of Roe, White House weighs executive actions

Some of the ideas under consideration include declaring a national public health emergency, readying the Justice Department to fight any attempt by states to criminalize travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion, and asserting that Food and Drug Administration regulations granting approval to abortion medications pre-empt any state bans, the officials said…

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In the past, Mr. Biden has adopted a position that his legal team warned him was unlikely to stand up in court, betting that the political benefits of his executive actions outweighed the legal risks. In August, as House Democrats urged him to reverse course on letting a pandemic-related ban on evicting renters expire, Mr. Biden unilaterally extended the measure.

The move won praise from the left, at a moment when he needed to hold his coalition together in order to advance his legislative agenda. But while Mr. Biden’s decision bought a little more time for pandemic assistance funds to reach renters, its practical impact was limited because courts, as predicted, swiftly struck it down — and his critics accused him of lawlessness.

In the abortion debate, some of Mr. Biden’s advisers both inside and outside the administration are wary of providing Republicans with similar fodder, allowing them to shift the political narrative from what their party has done to raising the alarm about the overreach of executive power.

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