Federal judge in Texas denies DOJ attempt to block controversial abortion law

The Biden DOJ had requested a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of the law that effectively bans abortion in Texas
Judge's gavel
Judge's gavel
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A federal judge has denied a Justice Department request to block enforcement of the recently passed Texas law that doesn't allow most abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. 

Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas wrote Thursday, "[T]his case presents complex, important questions of law that merit a full opportunity for the parties to present their positions to the Court. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the United States’ Opposed Motion for Expedited Briefing Schedule, (Dkt. 13), is DENIED."

The Biden Justice Department is desperately trying to put a halt to the enforcement of the law, which effectively bans all abortions in the state of Texas, prohibiting a termination past roughly six weeks into the pregnancy. 

DOJ attorneys argued that the bill signed by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott prevents "women from exercising their constitutional rights." The department cited a recent Supreme Court ruling that said, "a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability." 

Pitman's ruling arrived two weeks after the high court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, to allow the Texas law to remain in place until legal challenges can be brought. Pitman scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing to weigh the DOJ's request to halt the implementation of the law.