Justice Department asks Supreme Court to ban abortion law in Texas
The court battle in Texas over abortion continues after the DOJ asked the Supreme Court to block the state's newest restrictive abortion measure.
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On Monday, Oct. 18, the U.S. Department of Justice formally petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and block the controversial Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy while legal challenges are resolved.
In its formal request to the highest court in the land, President Joe Biden's Administration argued that the Texas abortion law makes it impossible for women and pregnant women to exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy, as recognized in the Court's landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established in 1973 the legalization of the procedure nationwide.
The law is "clearly unconstitutional" and allowing it to remain in effect "would perpetuate the ongoing irreparable harm to thousands of Texas women who are denied their constitutional rights," the Justice Department argued.
The document calls for reversal of the September decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — one of the most conservative in the country, and emphasized how the law is designed to evade, above all, the judicial route.
The court requested a response from Texas by noon on Thursday, Oct. 21.
In addition to asking the justices to stop the law now, the government also wants the court to agree to hear oral arguments in the legislation and decide for itself whether the law passes constitutional muster. If the justices grant the request, it would raise the level of the dispute and resolve the case by the end of June.
On Dec. 1, the Court will hear one of the most important cases on abortion besides Texas, in a dispute centered on Mississippi's law banning abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Mississippi has asked the justices to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling which, in addition to legalizing abortion in the United States, set the time limit when it can be performed at one trimester.
Although the ruling is expected in June 2022, the arguments have already been rejected in previous cases by the same Supreme Court.