"The Justice Department intends to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the Fifth Circuit's stay of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8," said Anthony Coley, the department's chief spokesperson.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit late Thursday rejected the Justice Department's request to lift a stay of an order issued by the Federal judge from Texas which temporarily stopped the law.
The law, referred to by the name of SB 8, the state does not take any action to stop abortions, but permits anyone to bring a civil suit against providers of abortion. The law was created to make it more difficult to contest the law in the courts.
The Justice Department said Texas cannot eliminate the right of access to abortions without providing a legal avenue to contest the law in the court. A federal judge agreed, and directed judges in the state not to take actions to address any lawsuits filed in accordance with the law.
The appeals court, however, issued an administrative stay for a short period on October. 8 that allowed Texas to reinstate the law back in effect. This shut down almost all abortion clinics in the state, requiring women who wanted to seek treatment to other states.
Appeal court upholds Texas legal abortion laws in effect
This week, the Court handed down an order of one paragraph that granted the request of Texas to allow the stay in place in the meantime it is considering an appeal to the ruling of the lower court. The court said it was acting on the reasons stated in the decision it made regarding an earlier contest of the statute.
This ruling said that federal courts are not able to limit the state court's authority to take action on the cases that are that they are presented with and also doubted the Justice Department's ability to pursue states in the first instance in light of the fact that the law was imposed by private people and not by state officials.
The Supreme Court declined in early September to stay the law, noting that the case was ambiguous and ambiguities, such as whether the court had the power to decide in the case.
"We appreciate the Department of Justice moving quickly to ask the Supreme Court to intervene, and Planned Parenthood is hopeful that the Court will use this new opportunity to stop this law, which has taken too much from Texans already," said Helene Krasnoff, vice-president for public policy and litigation for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The justices will be hearing an appeal in December Mississippi's law, which would prohibit abortions within 15 weeks of. The case represents an immediate challenge to the rulings of the court on abortion, including Roe v. Wade in which states are not allowed to ban abortions prior to the fetal viability.