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Fri Oct 15, 2021, 12:08 PM

Justice Department will ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law while legal fights play out [View all]

Source: Washington Post

The Department of Justice said Friday that it will go back to the Supreme Court to request that it put on hold Texas’s restrictive abortion law while legal battles continue. In a different case, the Supreme Court last month allowed the law to go into effect on a divisive 5 to 4 vote. The DOJ has filed a separate challenge to halt the law, which bars abortion as early as six weeks into the pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest, with mixed results.

Last week, a federal judge in Austin temporarily suspended enforcement of the abortion ban, saying he would “not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.” “A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion before fetal viability is well established,” U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman, a nominee of President Barack Obama, wrote in a 113-page ruling. “Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that.”

But the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 5th Circuit quickly put Pitman’s order on hold, and on Thursday said the law would remain in effect, setting a hearing the week of Dec. 6. and reinstated the law pending further review. In a 2-to-1 order, the judges did not give detailed reasoning for their action. Judges James C. Ho, a nominee of President Donald Trump, and Catharina Haynes, a nominee of President George W. Bush. were in the majority. Judge Carl E. Stewart, a nominee of President Bill Clinton, dissented.

The majority cited a previous rulings in a separate challenge, which said that because the ban is enforced by private individuals and not government officials, it is not clear when and how the law can be challenged in federal court. “The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a brief statement Friday.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/doj-texas-abortion-ban-supreme-court/2021/10/15/bd5762e6-2dcc-11ec-8ef6-3ca8fe943a92_story.html

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