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WASHINGTON – The Justice Department on Tuesday night asked a federal judge to issue an order that would prevent Texas from passing a law banning nearly all abortions, escalating the fight between the Biden administration and the Republican leadership of the State.

The department argued in its case that Texas passed the law, known as Senate Bill 8, “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”

As such, the department asked a federal district judge to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction that would bar the application of the law.

“This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States,” the Department of Justice said in its brief.

nytimes Gt