Texas’ abortion law, which prohibits abortions beginning six weeks before the due date for conception, can still be applied at the moment according to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. The ruling comes two days after a federal judge temporarily prohibited the state from implementing the law through a preliminary injunction.
The decision came hours after Ken Paxton (Texas’ attorney general) filed a motion asking for the court either to suspend the preliminary injunction or temporarily to halt it while it considered the second request.
A three-judge panel approved the second request and placed an administrative stop on the injunction, while the larger argument of Texas is considered. Texas has now requested that the Department of Justice respond. The Department of Justice will have until Tuesday for this response.
Texas’s abortion law has an unusual enforcement system. No state official enforces violations. The law allows private citizens to bring civil suits in state court against any alleged violators — providers, clinics or anyone who helps a woman have an abortion — and offers a financial incentive to them. If a suit is successful, the plaintiff is entitled to at least $10,000 from the violator. The mechanism is a problem for abortion providers trying to prevent the law’s implementation. It hasn’t been clear which person they should sue.
The 5th Circuit has ruled that Judge Robert L. Pitman granted Wednesday’s Justice Department motion for temporary injunction, while further legal proceedings are conducted to determine the Constitutionality of the law. The state of Texas was criticized for its enforcement system and it was accused of intentionally avoiding traditional judicial reviews.
Texas was, he stated in his order: “The law was written with the intention to prevent review by federal court that have the duty to protect the rights it likely violates.” “
“The state created a private cause for action through which people with no connection or personal interest to a woman seeking abortion could be incentivized and used the state’s judiciary system, judges, court officials, to stop them from doing so,” Pitman stated.
” Since the date S.B. His order stated that since S.B. 8 was implemented, women were unlawfully prohibited from exercising control of their lives in ways protected by the Constitution. The Court won’t sanction another day of this offenseful deprivation. Other courts might come up with a solution. “
He denied the motion of the Justice Department to dismiss its lawsuit against the law.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed the measure into law in May, with Texas joining a dozen other states that have passed laws banning abortions at early stages in pregnancy. These bills would ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat.
Attorney General Merrick Garland released a statement after the Texas abortion ban took effect last month, promising the Justice Department would “continue to protect” the safety of Texas women seeking abortions.
Nicole Sganga, Rob Legare, Caroline Linton and Melissa Quinn contributed reporting.
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