The emergency motion seeks a temporary restraining order comes days after the DOJ sued Texas over the law, claiming it was enacted to “prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
The law went into effect on Sept. 1 after being upheld in a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is the strictest abortion law in the country. Critics say many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant at six weeks – around the time when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected – and the law makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland said last Thursday. “The obvious and expressly acknowledged intention of this statutory scheme is to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
The Texas Heartbeat Act, or S.B. 8, was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May and empowers private citizens to enforce it by allowing them to sue anyone who allegedly helps a woman get an abortion illegally.
“Texas devised an unprecedented scheme that seeks to deny women and providers the ability to challenge [the law] in federal court,” the department wrote. “This attempt to shield a plainly unconstitutional law from review cannot stand.”
The DOJ argued the law is in conflict with Roe v. Wade and “a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy before viability.”
In response to last week’s lawsuit, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s press secretary Renae Eze said, “The most precious freedom is life itself. Texas passed a law that ensures that the life of every child with a heartbeat will be spared from the ravages of abortion. Unfortunately, President Biden and his Administration are more interested in changing the national narrative from their disastrous Afghanistan evacuation and reckless open border policies instead of protecting the innocent unborn. We are confident that the courts will uphold and protect that right to life.”
Abbott’s office didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ late-night request for comment.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.
Jill Biden Is Chasing the President’s Most Elusive Campaign Promise: Unity
“It’s kind of funny,” she said of her return to the classroom. “My students are really nonplused.”
According to emails obtained by CBS News and, later, The New York Times, she adamantly resisted being promoted as first lady in campus materials for the school, Northern Virginia Community College. “I want students to see me as their English teacher,” she wrote to an employee who wanted to use her role in promotional materials. In communications with campus officials, she also did not want her married name listed on the class schedule. This semester, she is still listed under “J. Tracy.”
As they spent weeks last winter figuring out how to make it possible for Dr. Biden to keep teaching, campus officials, working with White House lawyers, arranged for her to be paid out of a nonprofit fund-raising account to avoid conflicts with the Constitution’s emoluments clause, according to an administration official.
“Jill has her own career separate from whatever duties may have fallen upon first ladies by tradition,” Jimmie McClellan, the dean of liberal arts and Dr. Biden’s supervisor, said in an email.
Unlike other first ladies who have put careers on hold to support their husbands in the White House, Dr. Biden has long juggled competing identities at once. Growing up Jill Jacobs in a suburb of Philadelphia, the future first lady came of age during feminism’s second wave, a time when women were told to put themselves before any potential husband. But she ended up marrying for the first time when in 1970 she was 18, to the owner of a popular Delaware bar. The couple divorced in 1975.
When she married for the second time, to Mr. Biden in 1977, her identity was overshadowed by marrying a public figure whose tragic back story — a car crash that killed his wife and young daughter — required her to put her own life on hold. She stopped her career as a teacher to raise his sons, Beau and Hunter. They later had a daughter, Ashley. Eventually, Dr. Biden found her way back to teaching, and earned a doctorate in educational leadership.
Thousands Evacuated as Canary Island Volcano Erupts
A volcano erupted Sunday on the Spanish island of La Palma, spewing lava and a thick column of smoke and prompting the authorities to evacuate thousands of residents from nearby towns.
The eruption was the first in 50 years on La Palma, a resort island in the Canary archipelago popular with visitors from northern Europe. The Canary Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwestern coast of Africa.
Spain’s military said on Sunday that it would evacuate between 5,000 and 10,000 residents of villages on the edge of La Cumbre Vieja national park, as flowing lava and fires neared the surrounding farms and homes.
Firefighters and emergency workers were being sent from the archipelago’s larger islands, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain delayed a planned trip to New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly. Instead, Mr. Sánchez joined members of the military’s national emergency response unit on Sunday in La Palma.
The volcano erupted around 3:15 p.m., dramatically belching lava into the air and sending fiery rivers of molten lava down its sides. Scientists had warned an eruption was imminent following days of increased seismic activity in the area, including a magnitude 3.8 earthquake.
Home to about 85,000 residents, La Palma is one of the smallest Canary Islands. The previous most recent eruption on La Palma began in October 1971 and lasted more than three weeks. That eruption killed one person, a tourist who died after inhaling toxic gases while trying to admire the lava.
Live Updates: Remains Believed to Belong to Woman Missing in Van Mystery Are Found
Human remains believed to belong to a Florida woman reported missing after her fiancé returned home from a monthslong van trip without her were found in a national park in Wyoming on Sunday, the F.B.I. said at a news conference.
“Earlier today, human remains were discovered, consistent with a description of Gabrielle (Gabby) Petito,” said Charles Jones, an F.BI. agent, adding that a full forensic identification had not been completed to confirm the remains were those of Ms. Petito, 22.
“On behalf of the F.B.I. personnel and our partners, I would like to extend sincere, sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family,” said Mr. Jones, who did not take questions at the news conference. “As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect their privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”
A cause of death had not been determined, Mr. Jones said.
The remains were found in the area of the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on the east boundary of Grand Teton National Park, Mr. Jones said, adding that the campsite will remain closed. Anyone who had been in the camping area between Aug. 27 and Aug. 30 was urged to contact the F.B.I., Mr. Jones said.
The discovery of the remains believed to be that of Ms. Petito appeared to end one search for a missing person as another continued for her missing fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23, after his parents told the police they had not seen him in days.
Mr. Laundrie, whom the police have called a “person of interest,” had through a lawyer declined to speak with investigators, the police said. When his parents told the police that he, too, was missing, a search for him began that included scouring a vast Florida wildlife refuge.
Lawyers for the Petito family and Mr. Laundrie did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday night.
As the police, F.B.I. agents and National Park rangers searched for Ms. Petito in Wyoming, the woman’s last known whereabouts, according to her family, the authorities in Florida searched for Mr. Laundrie in the refuge, a 24,565-acre park in Sarasota County called the Carlton Reserve. On Sunday afternoon, the police in North Port, Fla., said their search at the Carlton Reserve had ended for the evening with nothing new to report.
The North Port Police Department said they were “saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased.”
Saddened and heartbroken to learn that Gabby has been found deceased. Our focus from the start, along with the FBI, and national partners, has been to bring her home. We will continue to work with the FBI in the search for more answers.
— North Port Police (@NorthPortPolice) September 19, 2021
“We will continue to work with the F.B.I. in the search for more answers,” they said.
Ms. Petito left with Mr. Laundrie in July in a white Ford van outfitted for a cross-country adventure. On Sept. 1, Mr. Laundrie returned to the home in North Port, Fla., where he lived with his parents and Ms. Petito, in the white van that the couple had used for the trip and that had been registered to Ms. Petito.
Ten days later, Ms. Petito was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11, according to the police.
In the days after Ms. Petito was reported missing, the authorities expressed “frustration” in their efforts to speak to Mr. Laundrie, who has not been declared a suspect in the case.
The case has drawn widespread attention, as reporters have gathered outside Mr. Laundrie’s house and some in the public have scoured the couple’s Instagram accounts, which depicted a seemingly carefree, nomadic “van life” in the American West.
Ms. Petito and Mr. Laundrie left New York on July 2 for what was supposed to be a four-month, cross-country trip visiting national parks, said Ms. Petito’s stepfather, Jim Schmidt. The couple posted photos and cheerful updates on Instagram and YouTube, and outfitted the van with a bed, tiny bookcases and plants and art.
But something apparently went wrong in Moab, Utah, Ms. Petito’s family said.
On Aug. 12, police officers there responded to a report of a “domestic problem” after Mr. Laundrie had “some sort of argument” with Ms. Petito and told her to take a walk and calm down, according to a police report.
Mr. Laundrie and Ms. Petito both told the officers that they were in love and engaged to be married and “desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” the report said.
Mr. Laundrie told one officer that “issues between the two had been building over the last few days,” it said.
During the encounter with the police, Ms. Petito cried and said she suffered from anxiety, according to body camera footage of the episode. In the police report, Ms. Petito is recorded saying she moved to slap Mr. Laundrie because she feared that he “was going to leave her in Moab without a ride.”
Both told the police that the episode should be classified as a “mental/emotional health ‘break,’” rather than as a domestic assault.
In the report, the police described Mr. Laundrie as the victim of the incident. They arranged for him to stay in a hotel that night while Ms. Petito kept the van. No charges were filed, the report states.
In social media posts published before and after Aug. 12, the couple documented their trip, including with many photos of Ms. Petito posing against backdrops of nature. The YouTube video showed the couple kissing, scaling rocks and laughing at how the Utah sun had melted the chocolate in Mr. Laundrie’s granola.
“I love the van,” Ms. Petito said, smiling at Mr. Laundrie.
Ms. Petito, the oldest of six siblings, had worked as a pharmacy technician to save money for the trip. She met Mr. Laundrie at Bayport-Blue Point High School on Long Island, Mr. Schmidt said. They began dating after graduation and moved two years ago to Florida, he said.
In their posts from 2020, the couple expressed excitement about their future.
Alan Yuhas contributed reporting.
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