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People advocating for the safe injection site in Philadelphia. Photo: Cory Clark/NurPhoto/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that a 1986 law designed to ban "crack houses" does not apply to a Philadelphia nonprofit's proposal to open the nation's first supervised injection site, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why it matters: The decision addresses a legal debate occurring in several U.S. cities that have approved or considered approving facilities for people with drug addictions to inject themselves in a supervised environment.

  • The Justice Department had argued against the site and immediately vowed to appeal the decision.
  • Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen warned in a statement that the decision isn't a green light for other injection sites, per the Inquirer: "Any attempt to open illicit drug injection sites in other jurisdictions while this case is pending will continue to be met with immediate action."

The big picture: At least a dozen cities have proposed supervised injection sites as a way to counteract the rise in drug overdose deaths.

  • The limited scientific research available shows injection sites rarely do more harm than good, despite concerns that the sites could encourage people to use drugs or lead to increased crime, per Science Direct.
  • A study on overdose mortality rates in Vancouver found that overdose deaths in the area around an injection facility fell by a third after it opened. The rest of the city saw a 9% drop.

Go deeper: Read the court opinion

Go deeper

Scoop: FDA chief called to West Wing

Stephen Hahn. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has summoned FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to the West Wing for a 9:30am meeting Tuesday to explain why he hasn't moved faster to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, two senior administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: The meeting is shaping up to be tense, with Hahn using what the White House will likely view as kamikaze language in a preemptive statement to Axios: "Let me be clear — our career scientists have to make the decision and they will take the time that’s needed to make the right call on this important decision."

Scoop: Schumer's regrets

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images   

Chuck Schumer told party donors during recent calls that the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Cal Cunningham "couldn't keep his zipper up" crushed Democrats' chances of regaining the Senate, sources with direct knowledge of the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are hoping for a 50-50 split by winning two upcoming special elections in Georgia. But their best chance for an outright Senate majority ended when Cunningham lost in North Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins won in Maine.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.