Thursday, December 2, 2021

Biden team asks Supreme Court to pause Texas abortion law

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to block a Texas law outlawing most abortions, while a fight for the constitutionality of the measure continues in the courts.

The law went into effect in September, with the exception of a district court pause of only 48 hours and a ban on abortion upon detection of cardiac activity, usually around six weeks, and before some women know they are pregnant.

On Monday, the Justice Department asked the High Court to overturn a conservative federal appeals court order that allowed Texas to continue enforcing the nation’s strictest abortion restrictions through a new law that was written to make it harder to challenge in the federal court system. … The department announced its intentions last Friday.

Texas law challenges key Supreme Court decisions on abortion rights, “prohibiting abortion long before many women realize they are pregnant,” the Justice Department wrote in its appeal to the court.

“The question now is whether Texas should be allowed to set aside the precedents of this Court while the courts are considering a United States claim. As the district court admitted, this should not be the case, ”the Justice Department wrote.

It is unclear whether the administration will win the Supreme Court with a conservative majority bolstered by former President Donald Trump’s three appointees and have already agreed to hear a major challenge to abortion rights in the Mississippi case.

Trump’s appointees, joined by two other conservatives, once previously rejected a request to keep the law in effect in a separate lawsuit filed by abortion providers. There was no immediate timetable for the Supreme Court’s action on this latest motion.

While the courts have blocked other state laws that effectively prohibit abortion before the fetus can survive outside the womb, after about 24 weeks, Texas law has so far escaped a similar fate due to its unique structure, which leaves enforcement to private citizens. rather than at the state level. officials. Anyone who successfully sues an abortion provider for breaking the law has the right to claim at least $ 10,000 in damages.

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In a 5-4 vote last month to keep the law in effect, the High Court, in an unsigned ruling, acknowledged that there are “serious questions about the constitutionality of the Texas law,” but also “complex and new” procedural questions about who to sue, and whether federal courts had the power to obstruct the implementation of the law.

Nation World News Desk
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