Appeals court allows Texas abortion law to stand

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday allowed Texas's restrictive abortion law to remain in place.

The 2-1 ruling comes after the court last week reinstated the law, which a federal judge had blocked just 48 hours prior.

The newest ruling will allow the law to be in effect while the case winds through the courts. The Texas law is the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, prohibiting all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks.

Judge James C. Ho, a Trump appointee, and Judge Catharina Haynes, a nominee of former President George W. Bush, supported leaving the ban in place. Judge Carl E. Stewart, a nominee of former President Clinton, dissented.

"The Supreme Court's interpretations of the Constitution are not the Constitution itself - they are, after all, called opinions," lawyers who support the state said, according to NBC News. "Abortion is not a constitutional right; it is a court-invented right that may not even have majority support on the current Supreme Court."

This ruling marks the latest defeat for the Biden administration's efforts to lift the ban. The decision is expected to be appealed in the Supreme Court.

Thursday's ruling marks the third time since October that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the state of Texas and kept the restrictions in place. 

While other states have made efforts to pass laws that are similarly restrictive to the one in Texas, federal judges ruled against them citing cases including Roe v. Wade. Texas's law is unique, however, in that it leaves authority to enforce the ban to private citizens, who are empowered to sue anyone who performs an abortion or aids a woman in obtaining the procedure, rather than the state.

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