The Biden administration’s Justice Department officially asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on Texas’s pro-life law yet again and temporarily halt the law while legal actions continue.
As reported by The New York Times:
The court signaled that it may act quickly. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who oversees the federal appeals court responsible for Texas, asked officials there to file their response to the Justice Department’s application by Thursday at noon. The court could rule in the following days.
The Justice Department’s brief stated that the law is “clearly unconstitutional.”
“Allowing S.B. 8 to remain in force would irreparably harm those interests and perpetuate the ongoing irreparable injury to the thousands of Texas women who are being denied their constitutional rights. Texas, in contrast, would suffer no cognizable injury from a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of a plainly unconstitutional law,” it went on.
The brief also requested that the high court go around the appeals court and take it on as a case this year.
In addition, given the importance and urgency of the issues, the Court may construe this application as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, grant the petition, and set this case for briefing and argument this Term.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act effectively outlaws abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, when fetal cardiac activity can be detected. As The Daily Wire previously reported, “The Texas law allows citizens to sue abortion providers and those who ‘aid and abet’ illegal procedures for a financial reward if the lawsuit is successful.”
The Biden administration has attempted to block the law in the courts prior to this most recent effort.
As The Daily Wire reported, “[last week], the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled against the Biden administration Justice Department, asserting that Texas’ heartbeat abortion law can remain in place.”
“The court issued a 2–1 order siding with the state of Texas, refusing the Justice Department’s request to reinstate an earlier court ruling that had blocked enforcement of the law. The order was backed by Judges James C. Ho, who was nominated by Donald Trump, and Catharina Haynes, who was nominated by George W. Bush. Judge Carl E. Stewart, a nominee of Bill Clinton, dissented,” National Review reported, adding, “Thursday’s decision comes after the same panel last week issued a temporary decision to reinstate the law after a federal judge in Austin temporarily halted the ban.”
The Daily Wire reported:
After the law was passed in Texas, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman approved the Biden administration’s request to temporarily block the law; he also refused permission for Texas to pause his ruling pending appeal. Pitman wrote, “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their own lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution. … This Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted, “We disagree with the Court’s decision and have already taken steps to immediately appeal it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The sanctity of human life is, and will always be, a top priority for me.”
Following Pitman’s ruling, the Fifth Circuit Court reinstated the law pending further review.
Last week, The Washington Post noted that “the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit quickly put Pitman’s order on hold, and on Thursday it said the law would remain in effect, setting a hearing the week of Dec. 6.”
The Supreme Court previously refused to block the law and notably didn’t rule on the constitutionality of it when it did so. Rather, it made its decision based on specifics of the law’s enforcement mechanism.
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