The U.S. Supreme Court decided Wednesday it will not review a nonprofit group’s effort to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia to try to reduce overdose deaths. The high court’s decision in the widely watched test case is a setback for the two dozen U.S. states and cities that supported the petition.
A divided U.S. appeals court had rejected the Safehouse plan in January. Organizers of the Safehouse project say federal “crackhouse” laws enacted are not intended to criminalize medically supervised centers.
Safehouse Vice President Ronda Goldfein told The Philadelphia Inquirer the fight is not over. She said she hopes they can prevail on religious grounds by arguing that their faith compels them to try to save lives.
A trial judge had sided with Safehouse in the case, but the federal appeals court overturned the decision and sided with the Republican Justice Department in declaring the plan illegal.
The Justice Department under President Joe Biden has so far stayed neutral in the litigation.
The U.S. tallied more than 93,000 overdose deaths last year, according to CDC data.