Justice Dept. sues Texas over state’s new abortion law

The Justice Department on Thursday sued Texas over a new state law that bans most abortions, arguing that it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Texas, asks a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.”

“The act is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference announcing the suit.

The Justice Department argues the law unlawfully infringes on the constitutional rights of women and violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, which says federal law supersedes state law. Federal officials are also concerned other states could enact similar laws that would “deprive their citizens of their constitutional rights,” he said.

“It is settled constitutional law that ‘a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,’” the lawsuit reads. “But Texas has done just that.”


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