Judge upholds that FDA can regulate e-cigarettes

A federal district judge in Washington Friday upheld the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to regulate electronic cigarettes and cigars like conventional cigarettes.

In a 93-page decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected arguments by Nicopure Labs, LLC, a Florida manufacturer of liquids used in e-cigarettes, and the Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition, which includes the American Vaping Association, e-cigarette companies and state trade groups.

They had contended that the FDA, in deciding to regulate e-cigarettes and related products, exceeded its authority and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. But Jackson concluded that “the agency acted within the scope of its statutory authority.”

Under the FDA rule, she noted, “manufacturers of e-cigarettes are now required to tell the 30 million people who use the devices what is actually in the liquid being vaporized and inhaled.”

The fight over what’s known as the FDA “deeming rule” is far from over. Another half-dozen lawsuits are pending.

— Laurie McGinley

Judge orders Ky. to pay legal fees: A federal judge on Friday ordered Kentucky taxpayers to pay legal fees because a county clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015. U.S. District Judge David Bunning on Friday ordered the state to pay $222,695 in fees to the attorneys of two same-sex couples and others who sued Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to give them marriage licenses. He also awarded $2,008.08 in other costs. Bunning said the county and Davis herself did not have to pay.

Terror suspect extradited from Spain: An al-Qaeda suspect linked to a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist has been brought to Philadelphia from Spain to face terrorism charges. Ali Charaf Damache, 52, of Algeria appeared in court Friday and will be arraigned next month. U.S. prosecutors say Damache was part of a terror cell based in Ireland that included Colleen LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman also known as “Jihad Jane.” He married a Colorado woman who traveled to Ireland to meet him in 2009. Officials say the cell wanted to kill a cartoonist who had offended Muslims.

— Associated Press