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Could Texas abortion ban strategy be double-edged sword?

The legal strategy used to ban most abortions in Texas is already being employed in Republican-led states to target other hot-button cultural issues.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo, women protest against the six-week abortion ban at the Capitol in Austin, Texas. The Texas abortion ban that so far has outmaneuvered Supreme Court precedent is the latest iteration of a legislative strategy used by Republican-led states to target pornography, gay rights and other hot-button cultural issues. But some are beginning to sound the alarm that the tactic of having enforcement done by citizens instead of government agencies could have a boomerang effect, pointing out that Democrats could use the same strategy on issues like gun control. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The unusual legal strategy used to ban most abortions in Texas is already increasingly being employed in Republican-led states to target pornography, LGBT rights and other hot-button cultural issues.

While private residents filing lawsuits is a fixture of some arenas like environmental law, some warn that expanding it and applying it to new areas could have a boomerang effect if Democrats were to use it on issues like gun control. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the measure could become a model that infringes on constitutional rights in other areas. 

The concept has already popped up on issues ranging from federal gun law in Missouri transgender-student bathroom use in Tennessee.

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