The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday filed for an injunction demanding a halt to all enforcement of Texas’s new pro-life law, ABC News reports.
The announcement comes after the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the law last week, seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the law even though the Supreme Court had already ruled in favor of letting the law stand.
“The State of Texas adopted S.B. 8 to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights,” the motion falsely declares. “This attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand. The United States seeks a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction enjoining the enforcement of S.B. 8.”
Claiming that an injunction “is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas,” the motion added that “it is also necessary to protect federal agencies, employees, and contractors whose lawful actions S.B. 8 purports to prohibit. 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 impair.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland had announced in the previous week that the DOJ would be suing the state of Texas over the law, following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that allowed the state to implement and enforce the law. His lawsuit accuses Texas’s new anti-abortion stance of being “in open defiance of the Constitution,” even though the Constitution does not list abortions in its series of rights guaranteed to all Americans.
Both the lawsuit and the motion for injunction are setting up for yet another consequential legal battle over abortion, with several Republican-led states ramping up their efforts to ban the practice. A lawsuit out of the state of Mississippi, regarding their recently-enacted and highly restrictive anti-abortion law, will be heard by the Supreme Court in the coming term; if the Court rules in Mississippi’s favor, it would largely overturn the precedent set in Roe v. Wade by allowing individual states to make their own determinations on abortion, rather than adhere to a federal standard.