Biden's DOJ asks the Supreme Court to step in and block Texas' six-week abortion ban: Gov. Greg Abbott says White House is more interested in 'changing the narrative' than protecting the 'innocent unborn'

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

The Biden administration on Monday asked the Supreme Court to block Texas's restrictive law banning most abortions, while the fight over the measure's constitutionality plays out in the courts.

The Justice Department asked Justices to lift an order imposed by a conservative federal appeals court that's enabled Texas to continue enforcing the nation's strictest curbs on abortion. The department had announced its intention to do so on Friday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office told that he's not worried about the latest challenge.

'The most precious freedom is life itself. Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion,' Abbott Press Secretary Renae Eze said.

'Unfortunately, President Biden and his Administration are more interested in changing the national narrative from their disastrous Afghanistan evacuation and reckless open border policies instead of protecting the innocent unborn.

'We are confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life.'

DOJ officials had asked Texas' 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last week to temporarily block the law while the legal battle continued, but the court refused.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott shrugged off the latest legal challenge, telling that he is 'confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life'

The Texas law defies the Supreme Court's major decisions on abortion rights 'by banning abortion long before viability - indeed, before many women even realize they are pregnant,' the Justice Department wrote in its plea to the court.

'The question now is whether Texas' nullification of this Court's precedents should be allowed to continue while the courts consider the United States' suit. As the district court recognized, it should not,' the Justice Department wrote.

The law has been in effect since September, aside from a district court-ordered pause that lasted just 48 hours, and bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant.

It allows any private citizen to sue Texas abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who 'aids or abets' a woman getting the procedure - from doctors performing it to Uber drivers transporting women to the clinic.

The statute sets minimum damages of $10,000 per banned abortion, to be paid out to the first person to prevail in a suit over the procedure.

The administration also raised the prospect that the court could decide to grant full review to the Texas law and rule on its constitutionality this term, even though lower courts have yet to do so. The Supreme Court rarely steps in this early in a lawsuit.

Biden officials said the possibility of other states adopting similar measures as well as the Texas law itself are enough to justify the high court stepping in early.

In a statement to, pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List lambasted President Joe Biden's 'extreme agenda.'

'Pro-abortion Democrats led by Joe Biden are losing hearts and minds across America, so they run to the courts to try to impose their extreme agenda of abortion on demand up to birth. Since the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect, it has saved more than 6,000 babies with beating hearts,' SBA List national spokeswoman Mallory Quigley said.

'The Supreme Court has already rejected one bid to block this life-saving law, and we hope that in the upcoming Dobbs late abortion case it will afford all states the right to protect unborn children and their mothers.'
Biden's Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to step in and block Texas' abortion law while its legal challenge to the measure plays out in court

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at Monday's news briefing that President Joe Biden would protect abortion rights, and that the Justice Department would lead efforts to ensure that women have 'access to fundamental rights that they have to protect their own health.'

It's not clear whether the administration will prevail at a Supreme Court with a conservative majority that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump and already has agreed to hear a major challenge to abortion rights in a case from Mississippi.

The Trump appointees, joined by two other conservatives, have once before rejected a plea to keep the law on hold, in a separate lawsuit filed by abortion providers. There was no immediate timetable for Supreme Court action on this latest motion.

While courts have blocked other state laws effectively banning abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb, roughly around 24 weeks, the Texas law has so far avoided a similar fate because of its unique structure that leaves enforcement up to private citizens, rather than state officials.

Anyone who brings a successful lawsuit against an abortion provider for violating the law is entitled to claim at least $10,000 in damages.
In September the Supreme Court declined in a 5-4 decision to intervene in another legal battle over the abortion ban, allowing it to go into effect immediately 

In the 5-4 vote last month to allow the law to remain in effect, the high court acknowledged in an unsigned order that there were 'serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law' but also 'complex and novel' procedural questions about whom to sue and whether federal courts had the power to stop the law from being enforced.

In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that he would have put the 'unprecedented' law on hold so that court could consider 'whether a state can avoid responsibility for its laws' by handing off enforcement. The court's three liberal justices also dissented.

The question now is whether the administration's presence in the new lawsuit will make a difference. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals provided its answer late Thursday, extending its earlier order that allows the law to remain in effect.

In a 2-1 vote, the court said it was siding with Texas for the same reasons the Supreme Court and a different 5th Circuit panel cited in the providers' lawsuit - questioning whether anyone could march into federal court to challenge the law.

Texas sought help from the appeals court after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled that the Justice Department did have the ability to sue and that he had the authority to stop the law from being enforced, writing that 'women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution.'

The judge conceded, however, that 'other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion.'

Comments / 1

Comments / 0