DOJ Asks Fed Court to Declare Texas 'Heartbeat' Law 'Invalid', State Judge Blocks Pro-Life Group Using New Law
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ABOVE: Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, appeared on the Wednesday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about the Justice Department's attempt to restore access to abortions in Texas. Faith Nation is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.
The Justice Department is taking more action against the pro-life Texas heartbeat law, seeking an immediate federal court order aimed at preventing the Lone Star State from enforcing its law.
The law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in May, effectively bans abortions after the unique heartbeat of the unborn person can be detected, which happens at roughly week six of pregnancy.
As CBN News reported, the DOJ lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas, asking a judge to declare 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 argued at a news conference announcing the suit. The Justice Department is also concerned other states could enact similar laws that Garland said would "deprive their citizens of their constitutional rights."
But several media reports discussing the lawsuit said it wasn't clear on what grounds the government could legally block the law.
Ryan T. Anderson, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the founding editor of Public Discourse, an online journal of the Witherspoon Institute, tweeted, "Biden administration announces it is suing the state of Texas over its pro-life law. AG claims the pro-life law violates longstanding precedent. Unfortunately for him, that longstanding precedent has no basis in the actual Constitution."
"Texas Right to Life is not surprised by the Biden administration's desperate move to stop the Texas Heartbeat Act from saving lives by any means necessary and as quickly as possible," said Texas Right to Life Vice President Elizabeth Graham in a statement. "We expect an impartial court to declare the DOJ's lawsuit invalid."
Meanwhile, a state district judge has issued an injunction blocking the Texas pro-life group from suing Planned Parenthood under the new law, ruling that the group may not file suit until the DOJ lawsuit is settled.
That ruling replaces the temporary restraining order which was granted to Planned Parenthood and its affiliates last week.
Axios reports Texas District Court Judge Karin Crump ordered the injunction, and it will be in effect until April 2022 when the case is expected to go to trial.
"The injunction only prevents the named parties from filing or assisting others in lawsuits against Planned Parenthood abortion facilities," Texas Right to Life said in a statement.
"Other citizens are legally authorized to sue Planned Parenthood if their abortionists violated the Texas Heartbeat Act, and Texas Right to Life is legally authorized to sue others who might aid or abet abortions," the group said.
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