WASHINGTON-The Biden administration is opening a lawsuit against Texas and opposing the near-term ban on abortions, which the Supreme Court rejected last week.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas over its law, which he described as “clearly unconstitutional under a lengthy Supreme Court ruling.”
“The United States has the power and responsibility to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights in order to create a legal framework designed specifically to protect those rights,” Garland told a news conference.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Texas, alleges the law is unconstitutional and was dropped against the disclosure of the Constitution.
The DOJ is seeking a court ruling that a law known as the Senate Bill 8, which does not apply under Article 14 of the Sovereignty and Amendment Act, is prohibited by federal law and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental defense.
The law prohibits most abortions, including in cases of rape, sexual assault, or incest. It also prohibits attempts to help – or seek help – from doctors who offer prohibited abortions or women who attempt to have one.
SB 8 prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant. There are also unprecedented enforcement clauses that allow private citizens, not state officials, to sue for abortion providers.
Following the Supreme Court ruling last week, President Joe Biden promised an “all-government” response to try to protect himself from abortions in Texas. Biden instructed the White House Judiciary and Gender Advisers, the DOJ and his Department of Health and Humanitarian Affairs to assess whether “we have the legal tools to separate women and caregivers from the impact of Texas’s alien map from out-of-party implementation.”
Garland said the DOJ’s decision is not based on pressure from the legislature or the White House.
“We have carefully considered the law and the facts and this complaint has clarified our view of the judiciary and the facts,” Garland said.
The executive move comes as a majority of the Conservative High Court is expected to hear a 6-3 case from Mississippi earlier this fall when Roe v. Wade opposes.
Pete Williams participated.