Three appeals and seven months later, Jared Loughner's attorneys and federal prosecutors are still arguing over the same basic question. And the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule.
Loughner's attorneys say the federal prison system should not be medicating Loughner against his will without a full court hearing on the question.
The Tucson federal prosecutors on the case say prison officials may medicate Loughner involuntarily without a court hearing for the reasons they've done it.
Currently, Loughner is being medicated with psychotropic drugs because he is considered a danger to himself or others. That Sept. 15 decision was the latest of several by prison officials that resulted in Loughner's continued treatment with medicine to treat the symptoms of his schizophrenia.
The treatment began on June 22 last year and was interrupted only between July 1 and July 18, when the Ninth Circuit upheld Loughner's attorneys request for a stay. Three decisions to medicate by officials at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., have led to three appeals by Loughner's attorneys.
For background, here's a story I wrote last year explaining why Loughner's lawyers are fighting the effort to give him medications that would likely help him. The Ninth Circuit has a special web page set up for following Loughner's appeals, but it's not up-to-date right now.