Asymmetrical Nationwide Injunctions
In early 2017, I tried to track all of the nationwide injunctions entered against the Trump Administration. I quickly abandoned that effort. There were far too many to record. As best as I can recall, almost every injunction was nationwide in scope. I don’t recall any judges limiting the injunction to the parties. Over the ensuing four years, there were non-stop debates about the propriety of non-party injunctions. In time, some district courts began to impose limits on injunctions–often at the nudging or circuit courts. But the norm remained that injunctions were nationwide in scope.
Fast forward to 2021. In at least two high-profile cases, conservative judges have limited the scopes of their injunctions. First, Judge Cam Barker declared the eviction moratorium unconstitutional. But he did not issue a nationwide injunction. Indeed, he limited his judgment to the named parties. DOJ–correctly in my view–has continued to enforce the policy while the appeal is pending.
Second, a panel of the Sixth Circuit declared the prohibition on bump stocks unlawful. (Co-Blogger Jon Adler wrote about the decision here). But Judge Batchelder, joined by Judge Murphy, limited the scope of the injunction to the named parties, within the four states of the Sixth Circuit:
However, we do not decide the scope of the injunction, except to say that the scope may not exceed the bounds of the four states within the Sixth Circuit’s jurisdiction and, of course, encompasses the parties themselves. Though we disagree with the ATF’s posi
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