US Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department have Filed a complaint against the state of Texas in an attempt to stop enforcement of the state’s anti-abortion law, which empowers bounty hunters to deprive women and pregnant women of their constitutional rights.
In terms of legal authority, it was the best the DOJ could do. The Justice Department has no authority, for example, to return Texas to Mexico or to force Gregg Abbott to push a bowling ball out of his urethra against his will. It can’t stop the law; all it can do is ask the courts to stop the law and endorse the constitution.
There is not much to be hoped for legal success. The DOJ’s lawsuit was filed in the Western District of Texas. Early reports indicate this that the lawsuit will be heard by US District Court Judge Lee Yeakel. Yeakel is a commissioner for George W. Bush, but he’s put down – and then overturned – some of the crazier laws of the Texan legislature in the past.
According to the district court, the case will be appealed to the U.S. Fifth District Court of Appeals, a court controlled by some of the most radical Conservatives in the country. The case will then be challenged in the United States Supreme Court, where Conservative judges were chosen for their theocratic views and misogyny. Any of these courts can deny the DOJ’s motion for exoneration and allow bounty hunters to continue molesting people in violation of the Constitution.
Nothing can stop conservative judges from ignoring the law, but it’s worth noting that the DOJ complaint contains a number of strong legal arguments against Texas law. Senate Bill 8 is based on a brazen attempt by Texas to avoid judicial review. By empowering individuals, as opposed to government officials, to enforce its restrictions, Texas claims that it, the state, cannot break the Constitution. This is the argument the Supreme Court accepted last week in its 5-4 paragraph ruling to enact Texas law – a ruling the court released in the middle of the night without any Conservatives denying Having the courage to sign her name with her evil one.
The DOJ complaint seeks to intervene in this gross perversion of the rule of law – to counter what it calls “transparent efforts to evade constitutional scrutiny” by arguing that Texas has essentially used individuals as law enforcement agencies. According to relevant precedents, the state can be sued for constitutional violations if it empowers private individuals with criminal prosecution powers. If the Conservatives at the Supreme Court were intellectually honest, Garland has solved their legal problem by pointing out their own precedents regarding state enforcement under the guise of private lawsuits.