The Justice Department is suing Texas over the state's new controversial restrictions on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' MORE announced Thursday.
The move comes a week after the Supreme Court refused to block the state law, which would effectively ban most abortions, in a 5-4 ruling over the objections of the court's liberal wing and the Chief Justice John Roberts. The law went into effect on Sept. 1.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday afternoon in federal district court in Texas.
"The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot evade its obligations under the Constitution and deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by adopting a statutory scheme designed specifically to evade traditional mechanisms of federal judicial review," the lawsuit reads.
"The federal government therefore brings this suit directly against the State of Texas to obtain a declaration that S.B. 8 is invalid, to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated."
A spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottFaith leaders call on Congress to lead the response to a global pandemic Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Biden administration announces federal support for patients, abortion providers in Texas MORE (R) dismissed the legal challenge as a political ploy.
That enforcement scheme also creates legal hurdles in court for those seeking to challenge the law, making it difficult to determine the correct parties to sue in order to block the law.
The administration's lawsuit asks for a court order nullifying the statute and prohibiting the state's officials and even private citizens from "implementing or enforcing" the law.