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Texans Rally At State Capitol Against New Abortion Bill

Source: Jordan Vonderhaar / Getty

The Department of Justice is firing back after a law was passed in Texas recently that bans abortions after six weeks. The DOJ has filed an emergency motion asking that a temporary restraining order be put in place to prohibit the law, SB8, from being enforced, The Washington Post reported.

“This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States in ensuring that its States respect the terms of the national compact,” the motion read.

It also stated that the law “gravely and irreparably impaired women’s ability to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion across the State.”

The motion also read:

When other States have enacted laws abridging reproductive rights to the extent that S.B. 8 does, courts have enjoined enforcement of the laws before they could take effect. 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. This attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand.

SB8 stands out from other abortion laws in other states because Texas residents can file civil lawsuits against women who are seeking abortions and whoever is helping them after six weeks whether they know them or not. If they win, they could get up to $10,000.

Attorney General Merrick Garland also filed a lawsuit against Texas over SB8, stating that the law is a “scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear” and that it’s  “invalid under the Supremacy Clause and the 14th Amendment, is preempted by federal law and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity.”

The lawsuit also stated:

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. The federal government therefore brings this suit directly against the State of Texas to obtain a declaration that S.B. 8 is invalid, to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.

SB8 went into effect on September 1.

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