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Texas tells court states can draw their own conclusions about the constitutionality of abortion

WASHINGTON – Texas told a federal appeals court on Thursday it was free to pass its six-week abortion law because states can draw their own conclusions about the constitutionality of the procedure.

“The Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Constitution are not the Constitution itself – they are, after all, opinions,” state attorneys said. “The federal and state political branches have all the prerogatives to adopt interpretations of the Constitution that differ from the Supreme Court, and they have all the prerogatives to enact laws which deprive the judiciary of the possibility of examining the pre-trial challenges. the application of their statutes.

“Abortion is not a constitutional right; it is a right invented by the court which may not even have the support of the majority in the current Supreme Court,” they said.

Abortion rights advocates meet on October 2, 2021 at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.Stephen Spillman / AP

The filing with the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit completed the exchange of briefs in the Department of Justice lawsuit challenging state law, known as Bill 8 of the Senate. The next step will be a decision by the appeals court on whether to lift its stay of an order from a district judge that blocked the law. The suspension of the court of appeal allowed the law to come into force.

Texas said that even though states are bound by the text of the Constitution, they do not need to follow Supreme Court decisions regarding constitutional rights.

States do not violate the constitution “by undermining a ‘right’ which is nowhere to be found in the document, and which exists only in the form of a concoction of judges who want to impose their ideology on the nation”, have state attorneys said.

Texas said it enacted the law in response to a Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which has no textual support in the Constitution, is the court’s most controversial decision in the past 50 years, and which the current court is considering overturning.

In response to the Justice Department’s warning that following Texas law would encourage other states to pass laws that violate constitutional rights, state attorneys said it was unlikely that others do so “against better reasoned Supreme Court decisions or against doctrines which enjoy strong support among current judges.”

The appeals court will likely rule on lifting the suspension in the coming days.

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