"[T]his case presents complex, important questions of law that merit a full opportunity for the parties to present their positions to the Court," wrote United States District Judge Robert Pitman in a one page decision Thursday. "Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the United States’ Opposed Motion for Expedited Briefing Schedule, (Dkt. 13), is DENIED."
The DOJ had asked the judge to grant a temporary restraining order or injunction in an effort to block the state from enforcing the law that effectively bans all abortions in Texas, prohibiting the procedure past roughly six weeks into pregnancy.
The DOJ argued that the bill, signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, would "prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights." The DOJ cited the Supreme Court, which ruled that "a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability." The new Texas law bans abortions before many women even know they are pregnant.
The DOJ also argued that Texas had "an unprecedented scheme that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge S.B. 8 in federal court. This attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand."
The ruling comes two weeks after the Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to let the Texas law remain in force, denying an emergency appeal from abortion providers to stay the law until legal challenges can be brought.
The new law went into effect on Sep. 1.