DOJ files for emergency order to block Texas abortion ban: 'Necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women'
Judge Merrick Garland testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General(AFP)

The U.S. Dept. of Justice late Tuesday night asked a federal judge to block Texas from implementing Republican Governor Greg Abbott's near-total ban on abortion, saying prohibiting the law from taking effect is "necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States."

The New York Times notes the DOJ has already filed a lawsuit against Texas, arguing the law, known as SB8, was signed into law “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights."

Axios adds the DOJ "submitted an emergency motion late Tuesday seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction."

This is a breaking news and developing story.