Updated Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ seeks emergency order to temporarily block Texas abortion law

 Pro-choice protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Pro-abortion rights protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Sept. 1 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Justice submitted an emergency motion late Tuesday seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction on Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks.

Why it matters: The action marks an escalation by the Biden administration in its challenge on the constitutionality of the GOP-led state's restrictive new law, after the DOJ filed a lawsuit last week following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, in a 5-4 vote, to allow the ban to remain in place.

  • The law that took effect on Sept. 1 following the ruling is the most restrictive abortion ban allowed to be enforced since the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

What they're saying: The DOJ argues in its filing, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas, that the law, known as Senate Bill 8, was passed "to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights."

  • "This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States," the statement added.

Read the emergency motion, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper: Texas banned abortion after 6 weeks. Here’s what happens next

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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