On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a lawsuit against Texas’ restrictive abortion law. Garland criticized the new state law, Texas Senate Bill 8, for banning nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many women know they’re pregnant. The law makes no exceptions in cases of rape, sexual abuse or incest.
Said Garland: “Today, after careful assessment of the facts and the law the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas. The act is clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent. Those precedents hold in the words of Planned Parenthood versus Casey, regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prevent any woman form making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.”
Garland said the Justice Department also is bringing the suit because SB 8 conflicts with federal law by prohibiting federal agencies from exercising their authorities and carrying out their responsibilities under federal laws in relation to abortion services. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that SB 8 is invalid under the supremacy clause and the 14th Amendment, is pre-empted by federal law, and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity. “The Department of Justice has a duty to defend the constitution of the United States and to uphold the law,” Garland said. “Today, we fulfill that duty by filing the lawsuit I have just described.”
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