Can we change the abortion laws in Texas?
President Biden’s Justice Department has announced they are suing the state of Texas due to its latest abortion ban, declaring the state law is unconstitutional. On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland reported the lawsuit at a news conference in Washington.
Garland called the Texas anti-abortion law’s “unprecedented” format seeks “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review for as long as possible.” Will the Department of Justice be able to stop Texas’ latest attack on abortion?
Lawsuit filed against new Texas abortion law
“The act is clearly unconstitutional under long standing Supreme Court precedent,” Garland said.
“This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear,” Garland said, suggesting that Texas’ strategy could inspire other states to form similar laws targeted towards different constitutional rights.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Austin, claimed that the Texas abortion law is unconstitutional because it collides with “the statutory and constitutional responsibilities of the federal government.”
“The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot evade its obligations under the Constitution and deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by adopting a statutory scheme designed specifically to evade traditional mechanisms of federal judicial review,” the lawsuit affirms.
The Justice Department is striving to achieve a conclusive judgment that would declare the Texas abortion ban invalid, as well as a “preliminary and permanent injunction against the State of Texas — including all of its officers, employees, and agents, including private parties” who would enforce the abortion ban.
Texas law specifically designed to forbid abortion
The Texas law was created explicitly with the purpose of making it nearly impossible for clinics to receive federal court orders to block enforcement of the law. The law has detailed that private citizens will have the power to file private lawsuits against any clinic or person who assists a woman in receiving an abortion after six weeks.
The new Texas law prohibits abortions once any embryonic cardiac activity is detected which is near six weeks. As most women know, six weeks is extremely early to determine pregnancy or even schedule medical consultation. The law also offers no exceptions for rape or incest.
Since the law was first enacted, clinics across Texas have stopped offering abortions after six weeks, or have ceased all abortion services in fear of risking expensive and trivial lawsuits from pro-life supporters looking to strictly enforce the new law.
DOJ asserts that the lawsuit against Texas is valid
The Department of Justice also argued in the filing that the government has the right to bring the suit against the state because the U.S. may “vindicate its interest” when a state law “flagrantly infringes the constitutional rights of the public at large.”
The “United States therefore may sue a State to vindicate the rights of individuals when a state infringes on rights protected by the Constitution.” It also cited the so-called “Take Care” Clause of the Constitution, which says that the President has the responsibility to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Texas officials ridicule DOJ lawsuit
The anti-abortion group which worked to enact the new law, Texas Right to Life, has recently ridiculed the news of the Justice Department’s lawsuit. The group’s Vice President Elizabeth Graham reported that President Biden is a “puppet of the radical abortion agenda, and his DOJ will quickly find that they do not have jurisdiction to stop the Texas Heartbeat Act.”
Additionally, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office vowed to uphold the new law and stated the new federal lawsuit is a diversion tactic from the Biden administration. Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze said in a statement, “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.”
She continued, “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.”
Do you think the Department of Justice’s lawsuit can cancel Texas’ anti-abortion ban? Let us know in the comments below.