In the latest attempt to move forward with a lawsuit to block enforcement of Texas’ six-week abortion ban, lawyers for abortion providers asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to immediately transfer a certified copy of its decision from last week back to a district court judge in order to restart proceedings in short order.
Although the Supreme Court last Friday allowed the controversial law to remain on the books, it did clear a narrow path for providers to try to sue a small subset of Texas licensing officials to try to block enforcement.
But in order for them to do that, the Supreme Court needs to send the paperwork to the lower court. As such, the providers are asking Justice Neil Gorsuch, who penned Friday’s opinion, to bypass the normal 25-day waiting period.
Even if the providers ultimately win the lawsuit against a handful of licensing officials, the court’s opinion would only restrict those specific officials from enforcing the law.
The law would remain on the books and private individuals — referred to by critics as “bounty hunters” — would still be able to file a lawsuit against anyone who they thought was helping a woman obtain an abortion and potentially collect more than $10,000 in damages.
The providers say the court should move quickly because “for more than 100 days, thousands of Texans have been unable to exercise their federal constitutional right to terminate their pregnancy.”
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