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Biden’s DOJ Files Emergency Motion Demanding Federal Judge Block Texas Abortion Law

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Joe Biden’s Department of Justice has filed an emergency motion with a federal court to immediately stop enforcement of the Texas abortion law.

The law, known as S.B. 8, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected in an unborn baby, which happens around six weeks into pregnancy.

What is unique about the law is that it relies on civil, not criminal, enforcement.

In a nutshell, the DOJ argued:

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S.B. 8 deprives women in Texas of their constitutional rights while presently preventing them from vindicating those rights in court, in clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Supremacy Clause.

The Act harms the United States’ interest in ensuring that States do not evade their obligations under the Constitution and then try to insulate their actions from judicial review, as well as its interest in protecting the constitutional rights of women in its care and custody.

To allow States to circumvent the Federal Constitution in this manner would offend the basic federal nature of the Union. Thus, the unconstitutionality of S.B. 8 alone suffices to establish irreparable harm.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal late on Wednesday to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions.

In a 5-4 vote, the Court refused to step in to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The measure is arguably one of the most pro-life laws in the country.

The Supreme Court majority cited “complex and novel” procedural questions for its decision, emphasizing that it was not ruling on the constitutionality of the Texas law.

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Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 back in May, which prohibits abortions following the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The measure also allows members of the public to file a lawsuit against doctors they claim violated the law, The Hill reported.

“Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said when he signed Senate Bill 8 into law.

“In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session,” he said at the time.

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“The life of every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion,” Abbott added.

Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes said he hopes it will serve as an example for other states looking to restrict abortion.

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is the most powerful pro-life legislation in Texas history and will stand as a model for the country,” he said.

Texas GOP Rep. Shelby Slawson tweeted: “When a heartbeat is detected, that innocent unborn life is protected!!”

The law was done in a clever way, where no government official was charged with enforcing the law, but providing private citizens the right to sue abortion providers who perform abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

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Because of that, there is no one for abortion rights activists to sue as they normally would.

“It’s a very unique law and it’s a very clever law,” Josh Blackman, a South Texas College of Law Houston professor, said. “Planned Parenthood can’t go to court and sue Attorney General [Ken] Paxton like they usually would because he has no role in enforcing the statute. They have to basically sit and wait to be sued.”

“Every citizen is now a private attorney general,” he said. “You can have random people who are against abortion start suing tomorrow.”

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