Speed Reads

texas abortion ban

Justice Department asks court to pause Texas abortion ban while case is being appealed

The Department of Justice filed a brief on Monday asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to pause Texas' strict abortion ban while the law is being appealed.

The law went into effect last month, and prohibits abortions once cardiac activity is detected; this usually happens about six weeks into a pregnancy. The Justice Department filed a suit to block the law, and last Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman approved a temporary injunction. Just two days later, the 5th Circuit granted Texas' request that it put an administrative hold on Pitman's order, allowing the law to stay in place as the court considers the appeal.

In its Monday filing, the Justice Department said that by "both defying the Constitution and frustrating judicial review, Texas has not merely protracted its assault on the rights of its citizens; it has repudiated its obligations under our national compact in a manner that directly implicates sovereign interests of the United States." The DOJ further argued that if "Texas' scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind."