The Justice Department on Tuesday asked a federal judge to immediately stop Texas’s restrictive ban on abortions past six weeks of pregnancy while the case makes its way through the court system.
Justice Department asked the judge To issue a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, which will both halt the law and restrict enforcement until the matter is resolved.
“Texas has devised an unprecedented plan that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge SB8 in federal court. This attempt to shield an apparently unconstitutional law from review cannot be tolerated, “This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interests of the United States,” the agency said in a brief filed late Tuesday.
DOJ sued the state of Texas Senate last week on new legislation called Bill 8, which bans abortions after about six weeks before most women even know they are pregnant. The law is particularly nefarious in that it effectively deputes private citizens to prosecute those accused of “aiding and abetting” those seeking illegal abortions in the state.
Any person suing under the terms of SB 8 can receive $10,000. reward up to, and the law was specifically designed to be difficult to challenge in court.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said last week that the bill was an “unprecedented” attempt to take away women’s constitutional rights.
“A plan like this to repeal the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans — whether their politics or party — should fear,” Garland said. “If it prevails, it could become a model for action in other areas, by other states, and with respect to other constitutional rights and judicial precedents.”
The Supreme Court refused to block the law earlier this month a 5-4 ruling, a striking defeat for abortion rights advocates that prompted the court’s liberal justices to condemn their conservative allies.
“The court’s order is astonishing,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in sharp disagreement. “Submitted with an application to join an unconstitutional law preventing women from exercising their constitutional rights and evading judicial scrutiny, most judges have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”
Abortion rights groups have said the new law would force thousands of women to travel out of state to get abortions. a huge financial and emotional burden. Women’s rights groups also fear Senate Bill 8 may become a blueprint For other states to imitate in an effort to rein in access to safe and legal abortion.