Legal experts explain DOJ’s emergency push for the Supreme Court to block the Texas abortion ban

Legal experts explain DOJ’s emergency push for the Supreme Court to block the Texas abortion ban
Attorney General Merrick Garland

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.

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.

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.

He adds:

Rewire News Group's Senior Editor of Law & Policy, Imani Gandy adds:

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