Texas appeals court indicates it won’t send abortion ban to federal judge just yet

Just in the past has blocked state’s six-week abortion ban.

Updated: January 8, 2022 - 3:03pm

A Texas appeals court this week indicated that it was unwilling to yet send the state’s controversial six-week abortion ban to a federal judge, a decision which would likely keep the ban in place for at least a while longer.

A group of abortion critics initially brought the federal lawsuit, which they argued this week should be brought before US District Court Judge Robert Pitman, who had frozen the law in an earlier challenge last fall. 

But the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals—which last year blocked Pitman’s freeze of the law—suggested it was not interested in sending this new case to him, instead indicating it would transfer it to the State Supreme Court. 

"Maybe we should just sit on this until the end of June," Judge Edith Jones said Friday during the hearing, arguing further that “by that time, it is very possible the hot potato will be in the seat of the Supreme Court.”

Jones appeared to be referencing a current challenge to Roe v. Wade that sits before the Supreme Court and could drastically reshape the abortion rights landscape in the U.S.