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The Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to prevent Texas from enforcing its toughest abortion ban in the country while lower courts hear a challenge to the law.

Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit overturned an order by a federal judge in Austin, Texas, blocking law enforcement, made after the Department of Justice brought an action to block it.

The judge, Robert Pittman, had written that he would not “sanction one more day” with the law in force. The law, known as Texas Senate Bill 8, allows individuals to sue anyone who contributes to helping a woman terminate a pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Such a stage can occur early in pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

Justice Pittman called the law, which makes no exceptions for women who have been raped or those who are victims of incest, “an offensive deprivation of … an important right” and “flagrantly unconstitutional.”

Two-thirds of a panel of three 5th Circuit judges – one appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump and one appointed by George W Bush – voted to overturn Judge Pittman’s decision and have ordered a hearing on December 6 on the matter. The third judge, appointed by Bill Clinton, opposed the ruling.

The law came into effect on September 1 after the Supreme Court refused to prevent it from being enforced in another case. But Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the agency would ask the court to suspend enforcement in the case.

“The Department of Justice intends to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s suspension of the preliminary injunction against Texas Senate Bill 8,” he said.

The Independent Gt

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