Wednesday, September 15, 2021

DOJ Seeks TRO To Prevent Suits Under Texas "Heartbeat" Abortion Bill

After filing suit last week in a Texas federal district court to prevent the state of Texas from enforcing SB 8, Texas' "heartbeat" abortion ban that is enforced solely through private civil actions for statutory damages, the Department of Justice yesterday filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction. The motion and memorandum of law (full text) in United States v. State of Texas, (WD TX, filed 9/14/2021), contends in part:

[T]he Court could enjoin any person who files suit under S.B. 8 from prosecuting his or her claim. Here, an injunction against Texas can run to the individuals who file civil enforcement actions because, at a minimum, those individuals would qualify as “persons who are in active concert or participation with” the State. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d)(2)(C). The purpose of Rule 65 is to prevent defendants from creating schemes to evade judicial review and enforcement by ensuring that injunctive relief “not only binds the parties defendants but also those identified with them in interest, in ‘privity’ with them, represented by them or subject to their control.”

New York Times reports on the filing.