Biden’s Justice Department wants a federal judge to temporarily block Texas abortion law, arguing it is a “serious intrusion” into women’s constitutional rights.
The Justice Department filed an emergency motion on Tuesday evening for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction with the U.S. District Court in West Texas.
In the 49-page complaint, the DOJ said that Texas’ ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs around six weeks after the onset of a pregnancy, illegally restricts women’s reproductive rights.
The law prohibits most pre-viability abortions, including rape or incest cases, which the DOJ says violates the 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which concluded that states cannot prohibit a pregnant woman from deciding to terminate a pregnancy before viability.
The lawsuit also says Texas designed the law to make it more difficult to challenge in court because it cannot be enforced by public officials, who are typically named as defendants in lawsuits to block those laws.
Instead, the DOJ says individuals can be designated to serve as “bounty hunters” who can be awarded up to $ 10,000 to successfully prosecute anyone who helps someone receive a procedure.
“Texas has designed an unprecedented program that seeks to deprive women and providers of the ability to challenge [it] in federal court, ”says the lawsuit. “This attempt to protect a clearly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand.”
He quotes comments from Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes, a Republican who helped draft the bill, which he says is a “very elegant use of the court system.” He said the structure of the ban is intended to avoid being declared unconstitutional like other similar laws.
If Texas’ attempt to ‘overturn’ the Constitution wins, according to the DOJ, “it could become a model for action in other areas, by other states, and with respect to other rights. constitutional and judicial precedents ”.
The Justice Department goes on to say that the law is also an attempt to usurp federal authority by prohibiting abortion services to people in the custody and custody of federal agencies, such as prisoners, the military and some illegal immigrants.
The department claims that because the law does not allow exceptions for rape or incest, it also interferes with Medicaid because this program is legally required to provide abortion services in such cases.
A temporary restraining order, according to the Justice Department, is needed to protect the constitutional rights of women and the federal government.
“The United States has the authority and the responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot evade judicial review for its constitutional violations and to protect important federal interests which [the law] alters ”, indicates the costume.
Tuesday’s emergency motion comes less than a week after the DOJ filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction banning the law. It came into effect on September 1 and the Supreme Court ruled the next day to leave it in place while the litigation against it continues.
Some abortion providers have sued, arguing that the law violates the 1973 High Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, who established the right to abortion.
Because of the structure of the law, if it made it to the High Court again, judges would not question whether it is constitutional – rather, they would answer whether it can be challenged in the courts.