Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee and dozens of District Attorneys and former Attorneys General, U.S. Attorneys, and law enforcement leaders across the country filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court today opposing the Texas abortion law. The brief was filed in support of the Biden administration’s challenge to the law, as the Court considers whether to let stay in place the trial court’s injunction blocking the law.
“I’m proud to join this group of law enforcement leaders in fighting this obviously unconstitutional law and protecting women’s access to reproductive care. State leaders in Austin tried to force their extreme agenda on the rest of the state by making it impossible for women in Texas to seek an abortion, which is a constitutional right. This law and its bounty system are an attack on both women and our justice system. Texans don’t want it. It’s not permitted by law. I urge the highest court in our country to block this law and protect the rights of Texas women.”
Since September, Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8) has effectively ended all abortions in Texas by barring the procedure at the onset of the fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The law is enforced by private citizens (instead of government officials), who may sue any person who “performs” or “aids an abets” an abortion and seek up to $10,000 in civil fines.
The Biden administration sued to block the law on September 9, 2021. In their amicus brief, County Attorney Menefee and the other signatories argue that by disregarding long-established precedent and empowering private individuals to enforce it, SB8 undermines the American justice system and threatens the integrity of the rule of law.