Monday, May 16, 2022

Justice Dept. Asks Judge to Block Texas From Enforcing Restrictive Abortion Law

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department requested a federal choose late Tuesday to concern an order that may forestall Texas from enacting a regulation that prohibits practically all abortions, ratcheting up a struggle between the Biden administration and the state’s Republican leaders.

The Justice Department argued in its emergency motion that the state adopted the regulation, generally known as Senate Bill 8, “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights,” reiterating an argument the division made final week when it sued Texas to prohibit enforcement of the contentious new laws.

“It is settled constitutional law that ‘a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,’” the department said in the lawsuit. “But Texas has done just that.”

As such, the division requested Judge Robert L. Pitman of the Western District of Texas to concern a short lived restraining order or a preliminary injunction that may forestall enforcement of the regulation.

“This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States,” the Justice Department stated in its transient.

Representatives for Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, didn’t instantly reply to an electronic mail in search of remark.

The Justice Department’s submitting is the newest salvo within the Biden administration’s struggle to cease Texas from enacting a regulation that prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of being pregnant, a deadline that always happens earlier than a lady is aware of she is pregnant, and authorizes residents to implement it. The regulation makes no exception for pregnancies ensuing from rape or incest.

The movement comes two weeks after the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-Four resolution, declined to block the Texas legislation. The majority pressured that it was not ruling on the regulation’s constitutionality and didn’t intend to restrict “procedurally proper challenges” to it.

At the middle of the authorized debate over the regulation is the mechanism that basically deputizes non-public residents, quite than the state’s govt department, to implement the brand new restrictions.

In its court docket submitting, the Justice Department referred to as this mechanism “an unprecedented scheme that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge S.B. 8 in federal court.”

It stated that in different instances the place states had enacted legal guidelines that abridged reproductive rights to the extent that the Texas regulation does, courts had stopped these measures from taking impact.

Texas’ “attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand,” the division stated in its movement.

The Supreme Court didn’t rule on whether or not Senate Bill Eight was constitutional when it refused to block the regulation. The Justice Department has positioned its constitutionality on the coronary heart of the lawsuit, which might power the court docket to think about new components and probably come to a unique resolution if it hears the case.

Opponents and supporters of the Texas regulation acknowledge that it is a gigantic shift within the nation’s battle over abortion, which has lengthy rested on whether or not the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 resolution that granted girls the constitutional proper to the process.

The Texas regulation basically permits a state to all however ban abortions earlier than a authorized take a look at of that watershed case. If the regulation is just not stopped by the courts, different Republican-led state legislatures might use it as a blueprint for their very own restrictions.

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