When the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging Texas’ six-week abortion ban lands on his desk, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman will have more than a passing familiarity with this latest chapter in the abortion wars.

On Aug. 27, Pitman, 58, rejected all motions to dismiss the original lawsuit filed by abortion providers challenging the state law, known as S.B. 8, in the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson. He had planned to hold a hearing on the challengers’ request for a preliminary injunction before the Sept. 1 effective date of the law, but that was short-circuited when the state appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which blocked that hearing and refused to expedite an appeal.