by Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley/Reuters
WASHINGTON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Texas law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion, calling the Republican-backed measure plainly unconstitutional and specifically designed to evade judicial scrutiny.
The administration asked the Supreme Court to quickly reverse a decision this month by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a judge’s order blocking the law while litigation over the statute’s legality continues. The justices in a 5-4 Sept. 1 decision let the law take effect in a separate challenge brought by abortion providers in the state.
The Texas measure, one of a series of restrictive abortion laws passed at the state level in recent years, bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy, a point when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant.
The Justice Department, which filed suit last month in a bid to stop the law, told the Supreme Court in a filing that the 5th Circuit’s action enables the ongoing violation by the state of Texas “of this court’s precedents and its citizens’ constitutional rights.”