The Department of Justice filed an emergency motion Tuesday evening seeking a temporary restraining order to block a Texas abortion law that went into effect earlier this month.
The move comes just days after the DOJ launched a lawsuit against Texas over the law that prohibits abortions after medical professionals can detect a heartbeat.
The law is unique in that it leaves enforcement up to private citizens through litigation.
“Texas devised an unprecedented scheme that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge [the law] in federal court,” the department wrote.
“This attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland last week vowed to use the Justice Department in the Biden administration’s effort to combat the pro-life Texas abortion law.
Garland announced his agency would use the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act “in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”
The DOJ almost immediately filed the lawsuit.
“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Garland said.
The Texas abortion law took effect on September 1st after a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze defended her state against the Justice Department efforts to circumvent the court’s decision.
“The most precious freedom is life itself,” she said. “Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion.”
Eze went on to express confidence in Texas’ legal footing regarding the new abortion law.
“We are confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life,” she said.
Garland has characterized any lawsuits filed by private citizens to protect the unborn as “violence” and vowed to “provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the Texas abortion law is an attack on “menstruating people.”
The law, she claims, “is about making sure that someone like me as a woman or any menstruating person in this country cannot make decisions over their own body.”
President Biden has described the Texas abortion law, designed to save the lives of the yet unborn, as “unAmerican.”
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