Texas urges appeals court to keep abortion ban in place as legal challenges play out
(CNN) Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged a powerful federal appeals court on Thursday to allow a state law that bars abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat to remain in effect while legal challenges play out.
The new briefs are the latest salvo from Texas that is defending against a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice.
The federal appeals court could act at any time, although it may make a few days to write an opinion that will likely be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Paxton argues that the Biden administration does not have the legal right to bring suit in the case, even if the law were crafted in a way to avoid review in federal court.
"The federal government's position boils down to a simple -- but erroneous -- claim: A law that avoids pre-enforcement review in federal district court is an open threat to our constitutional order," the Republican state attorney general wrote.
"That is ahistorical nonsense."
Challenges to the law that bans abortion after six weeks -- often before most women know they are pregnant -- have ricocheted through the courts.
A divided Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect on September 1 as a part of a different challenge.
But a trial court agreed to block it on October 6.
During a two-day window, some clinics began performing abortions again, but were stopped from doing so when the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in to temporarily freeze the trial judge's order.
Now the appeals panel will decide whether to issue a more formal injunction in the coming days.