The Justice Department on Monday asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block the application of Texas law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
It was the law’s second challenge to reach the court on an emergency appeal, seeking to put it on hold while lawsuits challenging its constitutionality progress through lower courts. The court dismissed the first appeal in early September, saying the case raised “complex and novel” questions about whether the court had the power to hear it, given the unusual structure of Senate Bill 8 , as the law is known.
The appeal filed on Monday involved a separate challenge to the law brought by the Biden administration. He claimed that Texas could not withdraw the right of access to abortion without providing a means to defend this right in court.
Texas law, unlike all other abortion restrictions before the Supreme Court, does not depend on state officials to enforce it. Instead, anyone can take private legal action against an abortion provider and claim up to $ 10,000. The law has ended almost all abortions in the state, forcing women seeking treatment to travel to other states.
US District Court Judge Robert Pittman blocked law enforcement in early October, saying Texas was carrying out “an unprecedented and aggressive plan to deprive its citizens of an important and well-established constitutional right.” But the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling, which allowed the law to come back into force.
Whether the Constitution provides for an abortion right will be squarely before the Supreme Court in December, when judges hear a challenge to Mississippi law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks. This case directly challenges the Court’s precedents on abortion, including Roe v. Wade, who say states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability.