Anyone hoping for updates in the lawsuit involving three cigar trade groups and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will have to wait until after the government shutdown ends.
The Department of Justice, who is representing FDA in the case brought by Cigar Association of America (CAA), Cigar Rights of America (CRA) and the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers’ Association (IPCPR), has been granted a stay due to its lack of funding.
Currently, the U.S. federal government is without funding due to a disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over funding for President Trump’s border wall. That funding lapse extends to the Department of Justice, whose attorneys are prevented from working on cases, by law, except when the cases are deemed “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.”
As such, the attorneys requested a stay of all pending deadlines in the court case until 14 days after the government’s funding resumes. That stay has been granted.
Attorneys on the two sides of the case have filed a series of delays regarding a status update in the lawsuit, the most recent of which was set for yesterday.
While the delay in the court case has been granted, it will have no effect on any upcoming deadlines to the deeming regulations themselves. In December, attorneys for the cigar trade groups indicated that they want an upcoming November deadline for HPHC testing delayed either by FDA directly or court action.