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Nessel joins coalition in support of DOJ’s lawsuit against Texas abortion ban

“We cannot stand idly by as Texas legislators show blatant disregard for federal precedent,” Nessel said.
A coalition of 24 attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of...
A coalition of 24 attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) challenge to Texas’ new ban on abortions.(MGN)
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a coalition of 23 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) challenge to Texas’ new ban on abortions. The brief particularly supports DOJ’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the law, which went into effect earlier this month.

“My sentiments on this issue have never changed, nor has my commitment to protecting a woman’s right to make decisions in respect to her own body,” Nessel said. “We cannot stand idly by as Texas legislators show blatant disregard for federal precedent. Outlawing abortion will not prevent abortions—it only prevents access to safe abortions. We, as elected officials, have a responsibility to recognize the harm this law inflicts and I am proud to join my colleagues in this fight against this constitutional upheaval.”

The brief was filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas and argues that by banning almost all pre-viability abortions within the state’s borders, the law, violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent upholding the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability. Further, the brief contends that the Texas legislature sought to evade prior Supreme Court rulings and to prevent judicial review of the law by giving enforcement authority to private individuals rather than the government and making SB 8 an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” and the rule of law.

The coalition asserts that the obvious purpose of the bill’s private enforcement policy is to generate an “across-the-board ban on constitutionally protected activity,” and that the private enforcement system does not shield Texas’s unconstitutional law from judicial review.

The brief describes how Texas built a structure within its court system that requires courts to give monetary and injunctive relief to claimants who bring cases against doctors providing abortions and those who “aid and abet” such constitutionally protected care.

The coalition argues that the federal district court should not allow Texas to make the constitutionally protected rights recognized in Roe v. Wade legally void through the law’s transparent scheme.

Joining Attorney General Nessel in filing this brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The brief can be read in full below.

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