While abortions rights advocates are challenging the Texas law banning most abortions after just six weeks by saying it violates the constitutional right to an abortion, the Justice Department is challenging the law along other grounds.
The law enables anyone regardless of their location to file lawsuits against women or doctors who perform an abortion. That's why the first two men who've filed lawsuits against a doctor in Texas (with good intentions) are actually based in Arkansas and Illinois.
To that end, the Justice Department is arguing that the law illegally disrupts interstate commerce, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton shot back by boasting that the law is stimulating interstate commerce by forcing women to travel long distances for health care.
In a court filing on Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cited news reports of women driving hundreds of miles to Oklahoma and Kansas to seek abortions as proof that the law wasn’t interfering with interstate commerce. The Biden administration, which is suing to block the law, has cited its impact on interstate commerce as grounds for federal intervention.
The federal government doesn’t “cite any actual evidence that the Texas Heartbeat Act burdens interstate commerce,” Paxton said in the filing in federal court in Austin. “What evidence that does exist in the record suggests that, if anything, the Act is stimulating rather than obstructing interstate travel.”
State laws generally cannot or do not apply to other state jurisdictions, but this is not a normal law.
The Texas law is written in such a way that it invites people in other states to use the Texas legal system as if it were their own. It's a backwards way of violating of the interstate commerce clause and nothing like it has been tried before because there's never been a regime as batshit as today's GOP.
I train five days a week because men like Ken Paxton exist and they don't all wear nametags.