Federal Judges

Biden Administration Sues Texas Over Its Abortion Law

from The Wall Street Journal,

The Justice Department sued Texas Thursday to block a new state law banning most abortions, saying it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.” “This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference announcing the action. The case sets up a federal-state clash over the future of abortion rights, and a test of whether the department can upend a state law that Texas lawmakers drafted in a novel manner that makes it difficult for abortion-rights advocates to challenge the ban in court.

By putting enforcement powers in the hands of private citizens, rather than state or local officials, the Texas law has left its opponents without obvious individuals to sue.

The suit, filed in federal court in Austin, said the federal government “has the authority and responsibility” to ensure that Texas doesn’t deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by attempting to evade the courts. It seeks a preliminary injunction to block the law while litigation continues, as well as a permanent order that the Texas ban is invalid and unenforceable. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended the state law and called the Biden administration’s action a politically motivated distraction. “Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion,” said a spokeswoman for the Republican governor. “We are confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life.”

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