The Biden administration and Justice Department (DOJ) are preparing to file suit against Texas over its new law banning abortions after six weeks, a law that amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in the first place, and also allows for regular people to enforce it and collect up to $10,000 in court if they accuse someone successfully of aiding someone in getting an abortion after six weeks. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to several news stations that a lawsuit could be filed in the coming days.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the federal government is looking to step in to put a halt to the Texas anti-abortion law which recently went into effect. “The Biden administration has faced pressure from Democrats and abortion-rights groups to take action to stop the Texas restrictions after the Supreme Court last week allowed them to take effect,” the publication reports.
And the course of action seems to be pointing toward a lawsuit. The Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit that argues Texas’s law illegally interferes with the federal government’s interests, the publication reports. However, it’s still not fully clear what that will look like.
In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the DOJ was “urgently” exploring the available options to challenge the Texas law in court. The law, called the Texas Heartbeat Act or Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8), allows private citizens to sue anyone performing or aiding in abortion after six weeks, a time where most pregnant people don’t know they’re pregnant yet. The law also locks cases in state courts, ensuring that it can never be brought up to the federal level and therefore cannot technically be considered as a violation of Roe v. Wade (even though it clearly is) by state courts who have to follow the law that bans abortion at six weeks, rather than simply fetal viability.