The Justice Department sued Texas for its new state law that makes most abortions illegal, stating that the law is “in open defiance of the Constitution.”
In the lawsuit, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge in Texas to declare the state law as invalid, and to ultimately protect the rights of all which Texas has sought to violate.
The Texas 6-week ban on abortions infringes on the constitutional rights of women, the lawsuit argues, and violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which declares that federal laws supersede state laws. A state therefore cannot prohibit abortions. However, Texas has enacted a law that aims to do just that.
In the new Texas law, abortions are prohibited at six weeks, which is well before the majority of women know that they are pregnant, effectively banning the majority of abortions.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit asks for an immediate injunction to stop enforcing the new ban. Under the law, enforcement is left to private citizens, who can use civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecutions to enforce the law, and receive a bounty of at least $10,000 in damages if their civil suit prevails.
The law will prevent abortion clinics from being able to stay open, because it will make it too risky for lawsuits to pile up. It also seeks to prevent women from seeking safe abortions in their own state, because of fear of legal retributions.
Attorney General Merrick Garland called the Texas ban “clearly unconstitutional,” citing how it was in obvious defiance of the Roe v Wade precedence.