Supreme Court leaves Texas abortion ban in place, agrees to take up legal battle over law

Supreme Court leaves Texas abortion ban in place, agrees to take up legal battle over law

Washington — The Supreme Court on Friday said it will take up this term a legal battle over a Texas law that bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, adding a second case involving abortion to its docket in what is already a blockbuster term.

The abortion ban, known as S.B. 8, will remain in place while the Supreme Court considers the cases.

In a pair of orders, the court set oral arguments in a challenge brought by the Justice Department and a separate case brought by abortion providers in Texas for November 1. 

The question to be considered by the high court in the dispute brought by the Justice Department against Texas is “may the United States bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit S.B. 8 from being enforced.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in a separate opinion the court was right to take up the disputes before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled “in recognition of the public importance of the issues these cases raise.” But said “the promise of future adjudication offers cold comfort, however, for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now.”

“These women will suffer personal harm from delaying their medical care, and as their pregnancies progress, they may even be unable to obtain abortion care altogether,” Sotomayor wrote, adding that she dissented from the court’s refusal to block enforcement of the law while legal proceedings continue.

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In agreeing to hear the Texas case this term, the dispute over its abortion ban will join a second battle over a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court will hear oral arguments in that case December 1, and Mississippi officials are asking the justices to overturn its landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional right to an abortion.

This article is sourced from CBS News

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