Quantcast

Justice Dept Sues Texas Over State’s New Anti-Abortion Law

'The Biden administration’s ploy represents a desperate attempt to stop the life-saving law by any means necessary...'

(Headline USA) The Justice Department has sued Texas over a new state law that creates severe civil penalties for most abortions, arguing that it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Texas, asks a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.”

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference announcing the suit.

The Justice Department argues the law unlawfully infringes on the constitutional rights of women and violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which says federal law supersedes state law.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Federal officials are also concerned other states could enact similar laws that would “deprive their citizens of their constitutional rights,” he said.

“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 lawsuit reads. “But Texas has done just that.”

The Texas law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity — usually around six weeks, before some women know they’re pregnant.

Courts have blocked other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas’ law differs significantly because it leaves enforcement to private citizens through civil lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Pressure mounted on the Justice Department not only from the White House – President Joe Biden has said the law is “almost un-American” – but also from Democrats in Congress, who wanted Garland to take action.

Earlier this week, Garland vowed the Justice Department would step in to enforce a federal law known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

That law, commonly known as the FACE Act, normally prohibits physically obstructing access to abortion clinics by blocking entrances or threatening to use force to intimidate or interfere with someone. It also prohibits damaging property at abortion clinics and other reproductive health centers.

The lawsuit filed on Thursday seeks an immediate injunction to prohibit enforcing the law in Texas. Under the statute, someone could bring a lawsuit — even if they have no connection to the woman getting an abortion — and could be entitled to at least $10,000 in damages if they prevail in court.

“The statute deputizes all private citizens, without any showing of personal connection or injury, to serve as bounty hunters authorized to recover at least $10,000 per claim from individuals who facilitate a woman’s exercise of her constitutional rights,” Garland said. “The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review.”

The attorney general also argued the Texas law could expose some federal employees at different agencies across the government to civil liability for doing their jobs.

The Texas law is the nation’s biggest curb to abortion since the Supreme Court affirmed in the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

Abortion providers have said they will comply, but already some of Texas’s roughly two dozen abortion clinics have temporarily stopped offering abortion altogether. Clinics in neighboring states, meanwhile, have seen a surge in patients from Texas.

Texas Right to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group and a driver of the new law, said Thursday in anticipation of the lawsuit that it was already working with other states to pass similar measures.

“The Biden administration’s ploy represents a desperate attempt to stop the life-saving law by any means necessary,” the group said in a statement.

Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, said his office was confident the courts would uphold the law.

“The most precious freedom is life itself. Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion,” Eze said.

The law provides no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Texas abortion clinics suing over the law, welcomed the Biden administration stepping in.

“It’s a gamechanger that the Department of Justice has joined the legal battle to restore constitutionally protected abortion access in Texas and disarm vigilantes looking to collect their bounties,” said Nancy Northup, the group’s president.

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement that the lawsuit is a critical first step “to righting this injustice for the people of Texas, and to prevent this catastrophe from playing out in other states that have pledged to follow Texas’ lead.”

Amiri said in an interview that she expected the lawsuit to move quickly, possibly reaching the Supreme Court within weeks.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Cyber Ninjas Says Maricopa County Spreading ‘Outright Lies’ to Save Face

The cybersecurity team that conducted the forensic audit in Arizona released an 11-page response to the claims by Maricopa County officials that the audit's...

DOJ Inspector General Blasts Disgraced McCabe After Biden Admin Reverses His Firing

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz reiterated during congressional testimony this week that disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lied repeatedly to his...

Biden: US Will Defend Taiwan Against China; CCP Sees ‘No Room for Compromise’

President Joe Biden said during Thursday night's scripted CNN Town Hall that the United States military would aid Taiwan in defending itself from a...

Garland Won’t Comment on Video of Feds Inciting Trump Backers to Enter Capitol

According to a tweet Thursday from Rep. Thomas Massie, R.-Ky., Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to comment when asked about the number of federal...

SCOTUS Sets Nov. 1 Hearing on Texas Heartbeat Law, Denies Biden Injunction

(Headline USA) The Supreme Court is allowing the Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in place, but has agreed to hear arguments...

State Dept. Admits: At Least 363 Americans Still Stuck in Afghanistan

At least 363 Americans remain trapped in Afghanistan after America's disastrous attempt to withdraw from the Taliban-occupied country, according to Hot Air. State Dept. informed...

C’Ville Activists Want to Melt Down Lee Statue, Repurpose It as Woke Public Art

Woke leftist radicals in Virginia have abandoned earlier vows to contextualize the state's controversial history in favor of recasting it in their own image---after...

Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Needed Vax Mandates: ‘I Would Convince People’

Former President Donald Trump said he would "convince people" to receive the COVID-19 shots by explaining their benefits, rather than politicizing them further through...

British Gov’t Prohibits Teaching Woke Racial Theories as Fact

The British government has put strict restraints on the teaching of "white privilege" as fact-based knowledge, the Epoch Times reported. Several months ago, the UK Parliament’s...
- Advertisement -