On Monday the Dept. of Justice moved one step further to try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to block Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott's near-total ban on abortion, which legal experts and now the DOJ itself say is unconstitutional.
"For half a century, this Court has held that 'a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,'" DOJ's 39-page emergency filing signed by Acting Solicitor General Brian H. Fletcher reads.
BREAKING: The Justice Department has filed its emergency application asking the Supreme Court to block Texas' six-week abortion ban.
The filing is here: https://t.co/iMHQxg7C8R https://t.co/YxOW0mLRxh — SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) October 18, 2021
DOJ is asking SCOTUS to "vacate" the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal's stay on a lower court's ruling injunction that effectively stopped the law, known as SB 8, from going into effect.
But perhaps the most important part, as Slate's Mark Joseph Stern, Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman, and others point to, is that DOJ is asking the Supreme Court to consider taking up the Texas law "this Term," rather than using the highly-criticized shadow docket to enact its will.
Notable: Biden's Justice Department wants to move the Texas abortion litigation off the Supreme Court's shadow docket and onto the merits docket to secure full briefing, oral argument, and a decision this term. 👇https://t.co/QGWNuncgR8
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) October 18, 2021
Reuters' U.S. Supreme Court reporter Lawrence Hurley notes that the "appeals court decision that allowed the law to be enforced 'enables Texas's ongoing nullification of this Court's precedents and its citizens' constitutional rights,' the Justice Department says."
"The Texas law 'defies' the Supreme Court's abortion precedents by 'banning abortion long before viability -- indeed, before many women even realize they are pregnant,' the filing says," Hurley adds.
Justice Department says Texas's argument that federal courts are "powerless" to block the abortion law is "as breathtaking as it is dangerous"
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) October 18, 2021
Rewire News Group's Senior Editor of Law & Policy, Imani Gandy adds:
The DOJ filed a cert petition with SCOTUS asking them to vacate the 5th Circuit's stay. #SB8
It remains BEYOND ABSURD that this law is still in effect when under the Supreme Court's own precedent, SB 8 is unconstitutional. It's absolutely ridiculous. https://t.co/AEaouGKAK2 — 🎃Imani Gandy Corn🎃 (@AngryBlackLady) October 18, 2021