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Federal Judge Denies Request From DOJ For Immediate Injunction Against Texas Abortion Law

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


The Joe Biden administration continues to be furious about the new Texas abortion law and it is still looking for ways to thwart it, but it was the administration who was thwarted again this week.

A federal judge denied a request from the Department of Justice to temporarily block the Texas law and, instead, set a hearing date for October 1 to consider blocking the law, KWTX reported.

The Justice Department requested the temporary restraining order late Tuesday as part of its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas aiming to overturn the law.

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Instead of immediately acting on the request, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman agreed to the state’s request to hear arguments before ruling. If the restraining order is granted, the law’s implementation will be blocked as court proceedings unfold.

The law will have been in effect for one month by the time the hearing is held. The statute outlaws abortions once fetal cardiac activity is detected — which can occur before many people know they’re pregnant. Texas abortion clinics worked until the last minute to finish procedures before the deadline and canceled future appointments. Some have even stopped offering abortions that are still allowed under the law, for fear of being sued.

Texas penned the law in such a way that it is tough to name a defendant which makes it complicated for a court to issue an injunction to block it.

“The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot insulate itself from judicial review for its constitutional violations and to protect the important federal interests that S.B. 8 impairs,” the Department of Justice petition said.

Judge Pitman said that because of the nature of the law it was important for both parties to present their cases in court.

“This case presents complex, important questions of law that merit a full opportunity for the parties to present their positions to the Court,” he said in his decision on Thursday. “Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the United States’ Opposed Motion for Expedited Briefing Schedule… is DENIED.”

The Department of Justice argued that women in Texas were being denied their right to abortion by the law.

“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 DOJ said.

“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,” it said.

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.

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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.

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.

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