(Trends Wide) — Biden’s Justice Department is preparing legal action to challenge Texas’ restrictive abortion law, a department official told Trends Wide.
The official did not say on what basis the lawsuit would be based, but the department’s attorneys have been challenged to find a possible legal recourse.
A formal announcement is expected this Thursday.
The Justice Department has been exploring legal avenues to challenge Texas’ six-week abortion ban after the U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected a request by the clinics to block the law from taking effect.
Texas law was specifically designed with the goal of making it difficult for clinics to obtain federal court orders that block enforcement of the law. Instead of creating criminal penalties for abortions performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, the Texas Legislature has tasked private citizens with enforcing the law by bringing private litigation against clinics and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion after six weeks.
Since the law went into effect, clinics across Texas have stopped offering abortions after six weeks or have closed entirely.
In an unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court majority wrote that while the clinics had raised “serious doubts about the constitutionality of Texas law,” they had not faced a burden that would allow the Court to block it at this time because of to “complex” and “novel” procedural issues.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged to protect abortion clinics in Texas by enforcing a federal law that prohibits making threats against patients seeking reproductive health services and obstructing clinic entrances.
“The Department will provide support from the federal police when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is attacked,” Garland said. “We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction, or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the Biden administration’s preparations for the lawsuit.
– Trends Wide’s Shawna Mizelle, Christina Carrega and Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.