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More on the AG response to the “heartbeat” bill

Yes, like this.

Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee are calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice to prosecute people who are now empowered to file lawsuits against abortion seekers under Texas’ new abortion law.

In the letter signed by all Democratic members of the committee, including Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee and Veronica Escobar, Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York urged the department to take legal action against “would-be vigilantes” and reiterated Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in the ruling.

“The Department of Justice cannot permit private individuals seeking to deprive women of the constitutional right to choose an abortion to escape scrutiny under existing federal law simply because they attempt to do so under the color of state law,” the Democrats’ letter said. “Indeed, the Department is fully empowered to prosecute any individual who attempts, ‘under color of any law,’ to deprive a United States citizen of ‘any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution.’”

The members went on to call the new Texas law a clear violation of women’s right to choose an abortion under the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

[…]

This call for action comes after Garland issued a statement Monday saying law enforcement officials were exploring options to challenge the law “to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”

Garland said DOJ officials have contacted U.S. attorneys and FBI field offices to “discuss our enforcement authorities,” but did not go into detail on specific enforcement measures.

That’s in line with what I wanted. There’s plenty of ideas out there. We need to see them get translated into action. Sooner rather than later would be nice. The Chron has more.

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2 Comments

  1. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    Here is the original petition in USA v. [Not-so-Supreme] State of Texas.

    Civil Action for declaratory and injunctive relief in the USDC for the Western District of Texas. No. 1:21-cv-00796

    Principal legal basis: Federal constitutional law (SCOTUS precedent) trumps state law, i.e. federal supremancy.

    https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/justice-department-lawsuit-texas-abortion-law/d016174e3d19703e/full.pdf

  2. […] and any information they do get will be at serious risk of being abused. Merrick Garland, as you formulate your response, please take note of that as well. The Current has […]