Texas Abortion Ban Remains in Effect After Appeals Court Rules Against Justice Dept.

In a 2-to-1 order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit refused the Justice Department’s request to reinstate an earlier court ruling that temporarily lifted the ban, which bars abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

The four-sentence order, which is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, was backed by Judges James C. Ho, a nominee of President Donald Trump, and Catharina Haynes, a nominee of President George W. Bush. It did not detail the court’s reasoning, but noted the dissent of Judge Carl E. Stewart, a nominee of President Bill Clinton.

The order follows a temporary decision last week by the same panel of judges to reinstate the ban, less than 48 hours after it was suspended by the lower-court judge. The decision was based on previous rulings in a separate challenge, which said that because the ban is enforced by private individuals, and not government officials, it is not clear when and how the law can be challenged in federal court.

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