A group of Republican-led states criticized the U.S. Justice Department for suing to overturn a Texas ban on most abortions, telling a judge that the federal government needs to be reined in.

If a temporary injunction blocking the law is revived while the lawsuit proceeds, the Justice Department will be emboldened to file similar suits in the future, the 18 states said in a filing at the federal appeals court in New Orleans Wednesday.

The injunction “threatens to expose every State in the Union to suit by the federal government whenever the U.S. Attorney General deems a state law to violate some constitutional right of someone, somewhere,” the states said. “The Attorney General has no authority to act as a roving reviser of state law, challenging as unconstitutional any rule with which he disagrees.”

The appeals court placed a temporary stay on the injunction late last week and will soon hear arguments on Texas’ bid for a longer lasting order. The state appealed after a federal judge in Austin granted the injunction, calling the ban on abortions after about the sixth week or pregnancy “contrived.”

The case is U.S. v. Texas, 21-50949, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.


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