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Justice Department asks U.S. Supreme Court to block enforcement of Texas' abortion ban 

click to enlarge San Antonians protest Texas' abortion ban during a recent march. - JAIME MONZON
  • Jaime Monzon
  • San Antonians protest Texas' abortion ban during a recent march.
The Biden Justice Department has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block Texas' near-total ban on abortion while its legal challenge to the Republican-backed law winds through the courts.

In a petition filed Monday, Acting Solicitor General Brian H. Fletcher argues that unless the high court blocks the law until its constitutionality can be determined, Texas is doing "irreparable injury" to thousands of women being denied access to abortion.

The request is the second challenge to the law to reach the Supreme Court on an emergency appeal. On a 5-4 vote, the court declined to hear the first one in early September. The majority wrote that the case presented "complex and novel" questions about whether the justices had authority to rule on it.

The Supreme Court appears ready to move quickly with the latest challenge. It ordered Texas to file its response by noon Thursday.

The Justice Department filing was widely anticipated. Last week, a spokesman for the department said its lawyers expected to issue such a request but didn't give a timetable.

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January 12, 2022

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