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DOJ to ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban while legal challenges play out

·1 min read
Supreme Court.
Supreme Court. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Department of Justice will ask the Supreme Court to halt enforcement of Texas' extreme abortion law while legal disputes move forward, DOJ spokesperson Anthony Coley announced in a Friday statement.

"The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit's stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8," wrote Coley. He did not say when the request would be filed, but told CNBC he "should have a better sense on Monday." On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit — which is "considered perhaps the most conservative appellate court in the nation," per the Texas Tribuneundid a federal judge's ruling allowing a temporarily block on the ban's enforcement. Its decision thus moved the law back into effect, writes CNBC.

Known as Senate Bill 8, Texas' abortion law criminalizes abortion after six weeks — before many individuals even know they're pregnant — and incentivizes private citizens to sue abortion-seekers and anyone who aids and abets in the process, per The New York Times.

The Texas law is difficult to challenge in court by design, although ostensibly "unconstitutional under the controlling precedents," writes the Times. In December, the court will take up another abortion-related case, this one a direct challege to landmark ruling Roe v. Wade and relating to a recent Mississipi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.

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