The Justice Department issued an emergency order Tuesday to immediately block Texas’ nearly total abortion ban after filing a lawsuit challenging the law’s unconstitutionality.
DOJ attorneys have asked a federal judge in Texas to issue a temporary restraining order or injunction to stop the law from being enforced. Texas Senate Bill 8was enforced by a bounty hunter-type system that created a six-week abortion ban before most women knew they were pregnant, allowing any citizen to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman get an abortion and potentially harm it. $10,000, no penalty for losing. Providers say the law prohibits at least 85% procedures previously carried out in the state.
“This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interests of the United States to ensure that the States respect the terms of the national convention.” said in the DOJ filing. It is also necessary to protect federal agencies, employees, and contractors whose legal actions SB 8 claims to prohibit.
The Ministry of Justice also argued in the file that the law was unconstitutional. “It is well understood that the Fourteenth Amendment prevents states from banning abortion before a fetus is viable,” the department said. “Because SB 8 has this effect, it is clearly unconstitutional under binding precedent.”
The Justice Department also argued that the law violated the Supremacy Clause, which gives federal law priority over state law. Lawyers said the law “irreparably harmed” the federal government because it was clearly designed to avoid court challenges.
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“The law undermines the United States’ interests in ensuring that States do not evade their obligations under the Constitution and then seek to isolate their actions from judicial review, as well as protecting the constitutional rights of women in their care and custody,” the file said. “Allowing states to circumvent the Federal Constitution in this way disturbs the fundamental federal nature of the Union. Thus, the unconstitutionality of SB 8 alone is sufficient to cause irreparable harm.”
The filing added that the law resulted in an influx of women seeking abortions in other states, “overburdening out-of-state clinics and creating backlogs for other state residents seeking care.”
It’s unclear when a judge might decide to file, but the request could go to the Supreme Court. The filing comes after the Trump-filled Supreme Court refused by a 5-4 vote to block the law from going into effect earlier this month. Liberal Judge Elena Kagan bloated the court in herself opposition For allowing a law in “undisputed conflict” with its court precedent to remain in effect “without full briefing or discussion and less than 72 hours after consideration.” “The majority of the judges chose to bury their heads in the sand,” said Judge Sonia Sotomayor, arguing that the law was “clearly unconstitutional” based on the court’s precedent.
President Biden said the entire government would react to the “extreme” law. agree in the statement “It clearly violates the constitutional right established in the Roe v Wade case and which has been considered a precedent for nearly half a century.”
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit last week, arguing that it violated the 14th Amendment and the Supremacy Clause of the law.
“Texas does not dispute that its statute violates Supreme Court precedent. Instead, the statute contains an unprecedented plan to ‘insulate the State from responsibility,’ in the words of the Chief Justice.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said “The obvious and clearly acknowledged aim of this legal order is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by preventing judicial review for as long as possible. The law has had its intended effect so far,” he said in announcing the case.
As a result, abortion clinics “stopped operating”, leaving women in the state “cannot exercise their constitutional rights and seek judicial review just when they need it,” Garland said, adding that there is such a plan. Overriding the United States Constitution is something all Americans, regardless of their politics or party, should fear.”
Abortion providers also found that the law’s Roe v. They filed suit against the law, arguing that Wade violated his precedent. But the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas suddenly canceled He rejected a scheduled hearing and an urgent motion sought by more than 20 abortion providers in August, prompting the Supreme Court to appeal. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block the law means abortion providers can continue to sue the case in court, but that process can take months or longer while the law is in effect.
Meanwhile, a Texas judge in state court on Monday issued an injunction Preventing the anti-abortion group Texas Right for Life from filing a Planned Parenthood lawsuit to enforce the abortion ban. Texas District Court Judge Karin Crump said the injunction will remain in effect until at least April 2022, when the case is expected to go to trial.
Helene Krasnoff, vice president of public policy litigation and legal at Planned Parenthood, said: “We’re relieved that… our providers and healthcare professionals will have some protection from frivolous lawsuits as lawsuits continue against this clearly unconstitutional law.” said in a statement.
However, the injunction only applies to Texas Right for Life and its affiliates, meaning other individuals or entities can still sue to enforce the law.
“This interim measure is an important step but not sufficient relief,” Krasnoff said.