Justice Department Sues Texas Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Abortion Ban

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Texas, saying that the new state law banning abortion at six weeks is unconstitutional as it infringes on the constitutional rights of women.

Photo credit: AP News

During a news conference in Washington, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department against the state of Texas for the “unprecedented” design of the law.

Garland called the law “unconstitutional under long standing Supreme Court precedent” as it seeks “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights by thwarting judicial review for as long as possible,” CNN reported.

He also said that passing this law is like a “scheme” that could influence other states to attack the constitutional rights of the people. “This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans — whatever their politics or party — should fear,”

The lawsuit that Garland mentioned in his statement was filed in a federal court in Austin. The lawsuit alleged that the unconstitutional Texas law is in conflict with “the statutory and constitutional responsibilities of the federal government.”

He clarified that the lawsuit was filed in order to seek a declaratory judgment that would invalidate the new Texas six-week abortion ban. The lawsuit is also meant to get a “preliminary and permanent injunction against the State of Texas — including all of its officers, employees, and agents, including private parties” who would enforce the abortion ban.

The lawsuit stated that “The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot evade its obligations under the Constitution and deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by adopting a statutory scheme designed specifically to evade traditional mechanisms of federal judicial review.”

Photo credit: Texas Tribune

Garland also said that Texas’ six-week abortion ban known as the Heartbeat Act infringed upon the activities of the Labor Department, Defense Department and other federal agencies as it “exposes federal personnel and grantees to liability for carrying out their federal obligations to provide access to abortion-related services to persons” in the federal government’s care.

The DOJ, on the other hand, said that the lawsuit is among the government’s rights. They hope that the suit may “vindicate its [the U.S.] interest” against a state law that “flagrantly infringes the constitutional rights of the public at large.”

The “United States, therefore, may sue a State to vindicate the rights of individuals when a state infringes on rights protected by the Constitution,” says the DOJ as they cited the so-called “Take Care” Clause of the Constitution.

The “Take Care” Clause of the Constitution says that the President has the duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”