The attorneys general from Minnesota and Wisconsin have joined 22 of their colleagues in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to put a stop to Texas' near-total ban on abortion.
Keith Ellison and Josh Kaul signed their names to an amicus brief filed with SCOTUS Monday, urging the justices to "halt the irreparable harms" Texas' S.B. 8 is causing. The law, which went into effect Sept. 1, bans any abortion after about six weeks, which is before many women even know they are pregnant.
But rather than giving state officials the power to enforce the ban, the law allows any private individual to sue an abortion provider or anyone who helps a person get an abortion, even if that private individual has no connection to those involved. A person who successfully brings one of these suits can receive a minimum of $10,000.
Related [Sept. 16]: MN lawmaker calls upholding of Texas abortion law 'great news for America'
The U.S. Supreme Court previously voted 5-4 to not block the law from taking effect, but the federal government filed a lawsuit arguing the near-total ban is "in open defiance of the Constitution."
Th amicus brief filed Monday is in support of the Department of Justice's legal effort to halt the law.
In the amicus brief, the attorneys general argue this framework is a clear attempt to "evade federal court review of this plainly unconstitutional law." They say that individuals and organizations based within other states could find themselves in the crosshairs of private Texas citizens, due to the law's "vague and expansive" language with regard to aiding and abetting.
Texas' law, the amicus brief says, runs in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent" previously established by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.
"Being able to make your own choices about your reproductive health care is a constitutional right and fundamental to living with dignity and respect," Ellison said in a statement announcing his support of the amicus brief. "I will keep fighting for that right for Minnesotans and people in every state.”
Kauk, in a news release, said S.B. 8 "is harming women who need health care, restricting freedom, and disdainful of the rule of law."
The amicus brief was led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Attorneys general from 23 states and D.C. have signed in support of the brief. They are:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island