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Supreme Court Won’t Fast-Track Challenge to Texas Abortion Limits | KTA

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Tourists visit the Supreme Court, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the latest setback for abortion rights in Texas, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to expedite the ongoing lawsuit over the state’s ban on most abortions.

Due to dissents by the three liberal justices, the court declined to order a federal appeals court to refer the case to a federal judge who had temporarily blocked enforcement. The court provided no explanation for its action.

The Texas ban is therefore expected to remain in effect for the foreseeable future, following a decision by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to refer the case to the Texas Supreme Court, which is fully controlled by Republican judges and did not act immediately.

Abortion providers had asked the High Court to overturn the appeal order, which they say in court papers has no purpose other than to delay legal proceedings and prevent clinics to offer abortions beyond approximately six weeks of pregnancy.

The law devastated abortion care in Texas, Judge Sonia Sotomayor wrote. “Instead of preventing a Fifth Circuit panel from engaging in the latest Texas delaying tactics, the Court is again allowing the state to expand the disenfranchisement of its citizens’ federal constitutional rights through procedural manipulation” , wrote Sotomayor, joined by judges Stephen Breyer and Elena. Kagan. “The Court can look the other way, but I can’t.”

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three Liberals in December in a dissent that called for allowing a broader challenge to the law and a speedy return to lower federal court. Roberts did not note his position on Thursday.

The clinics fear their challenge to the law will not be resolved before judges rule in a Mississippi case that could roll back abortion rights nationwide. The decision, which could overturn the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade case, is expected by the end of June.

The Texas law that bans abortion once heart activity is detected — usually about six weeks, before some women know they’re pregnant — has been in effect since September. Last month the High Court upheld the law in place and allowed only a limited challenge to the restrictions.

The vendors believed their best chance for a favorable outcome was before U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin. Pitman issued an order in October blocking the law, although the appeals court suspended its decision days later.

Supreme Court Won’t Fast-Track Challenge to Texas Abortion Limits | KTA

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