The heated debate over a new Texas abortion law is about to get even hotter this week, as the Biden administration continues to pull out all the stops to prevent the Lone Star State from enforcing it.
The latest maneuver by the Biden administration seems to be a direct attack on states’ rights, however.
The U.S. Department of Justice late Tuesday asked a federal judge in Texas to temporarily halt the controversial new state law that bans abortions after about six weeks.
The emergency motion seeking a temporary restraining order comes days after the DOJ sued Texas over the law, claiming it was enacted to “prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
The law went into effect on Sept. 1 after being upheld in a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the strictest abortion law in the country. Critics say many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant at six weeks – around the time when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected – and the law makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
The Attorney General appears to have made up his mind already.
“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said last Thursday. “The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
The move will almost certainly draw criticism from constitutionalists on the other side, however, as they point to the DOJ’s overreach as an example of the federal erosion of a state’s right to govern itself.