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Monday, September 27, 2021

DOJ asks federal judge to halt enforcement of Texas abortion law

“The United States has the authority to seek redress from this Court against the State of Texas, particularly in light of the procedural obstacles that Texas erected to shield S.B. 8 from judicial scrutiny in suits by directly affected persons,” authorities attorneys argued in briefs filed late Tuesday. They mentioned the law has “gravely and irreparably impaired women’s ability to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion across the State.”

The authorized transient comes after the Biden administration filed swimsuit in opposition to the state final week asserting that the law was handed in “open defiance of the Constitution.” Now authorities attorneys are looking for to halt the law whereas the authorized problem performs out.

The request may transfer shortly via the courts — in the end touchdown on the Supreme Court — and will decide whether or not clinics within the state can as soon as once more carry out abortions after six weeks as either side current their authorized arguments over the approaching months. It comes because the Supreme Court is about to take up a case regarding a Mississippi 15-week ban that serves as a direct problem to Roe v. Wade someday in late fall or early winter.

“There can be no dispute that S.B. 8 is contrary to the decades of precedent prohibiting states from banning abortions before fetal viability,” the Justice Department argued.

A 5-4 Supreme Court allowed the Texas law to stay in impact earlier this month in a separate authorized problem. Under the law, abortion is prohibited when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is commonly earlier than a lady is aware of she is pregnant. There isn’t any exception for rape or incest, though there may be an exemption for “medical emergencies.”

In passing the law, the Texas Legislature adopted a novel authorized technique blocking Texas officers from implementing the law, as a substitute permitting non-public residents — wherever within the nation — to carry a civil swimsuit in opposition to anybody who assists a pregnant individual looking for an abortion in violation of the law.

In its unsigned September 1 order, the Supreme Court majority reasoned that whereas the abortion suppliers behind the problem had raised “serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law,” they’d not met a burden that may enable the court docket to block it due to “complex” and “novel” procedural questions. The majority mentioned that its order was not based mostly on any conclusion in regards to the constitutionality of Texas’ law and “in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges.”

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court docket’s liberal wing in dissent. Justice Sonia Sotomayor referred to as the court docket’s order “stunning.”

“Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” she mentioned.

The Justice Department's uphill battle against Texas' abortion ban
In a news convention final week saying the lawsuit, Attorney General Merrick Garland referred to the law as a “scheme” to keep away from judicial assessment.

“This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United State is one that all Americans — whatever their politics or party — should fear,” he mentioned.

Supporters of abortion rights have praised the federal government for stepping in.

“We are thrilled that the federal government is acting with a sense of urgency to restore access to safe abortion care throughout Texas and prevent further violations of pregnant Texans’ constitutional rights,” mentioned Stephanie Toti, an legal professional for the Lawyering Project, a nonprofit authorized group that represents abortion funds and sensible help networks.

After the Supreme Court allowed the law to go into impact, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that “starting today, every unborn child with a heartbeat will be protected from the ravages of abortion.”

Abbott got here below criticism when he was requested why he was pushing a law that may power a rape or incest sufferer to carry a being pregnant to time period.

“It doesn’t require that at all, because obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion,” Abbott responded. “That said, however,” he continued, “let’s make something very clear, rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.”

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasted the governor in an interview with CNN.

“I’m sorry we have to break down Biology 101 on national television, but in case no one has informed him before in his life, six weeks pregnant means two weeks late for your period. And two weeks late on your period for any person — any person with a menstrual cycle — can happen if you’re stressed, if your diet changes or for really no reason at all. So you don’t have six weeks,” she mentioned.

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