Pres. Biden’s DOJ takes aim at Texas’s Heartbeat Act in new court filing

The Biden administration is looking to put a stop to Texas’s new anti-abortion law.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday announced that the Biden administration filed an emergency motion in an attempt to prevent Texas’s anti-abortion law from being enforced. 

“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Garland claimed in a statement. “The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”

Background

The Texas law at issue here is Texas’s new Heartbeat Act. As its name suggests, the act bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically at about the six-week mark of the pregnancy.

Abortion advocates have been working feverishly against this law. They first tried to get it thrown out before it went into effect, but they ran into the U.S. Supreme Court, which put a stop to the effort. It was a 5-4 decision with the court’s liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissenting.

This Supreme Court decision allowed the Texas law to go into effect, which it did on September 1st.

In response, Biden threatened legal action and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) threatened to make Roe v. Wade law. This, of course, is the famous case in which the Supreme Court found in the Constitution a woman’s right to have an abortion.

Now, Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is following through on his threat, trying to prevent Texas’s law from being enforced.

The latest

With the emergency motion, the Biden administration is asking the courts to grant either a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. If the court grants either, it would have the effect of, at least, temporarily stopping the law from being enforced.

Garland’s argument is that Texas’s law is unconstitutional because it conflicts with Roe v. Wade.

In its court filing, the DOJ noted the fact that the courts have thrown out similar laws to Texas’s Heartbeat Act. It wrote, “in an effort to avoid that result, Texas devised an unprecedented scheme that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge S.B. 8 in federal court.”

The DOJ concluded that the relief that it requested “is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States.”

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