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Legislative Fixes for Nationwide Injunctions

Nationwide injunctions throughout both recent Democratic and Republican presidencies have halted major executive initiatives.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas stymied the Obama administration’s initial implementation of the DACA program, Judge James L. Robart of the Western District of Washington blocked President Trump’s first travel ban, and Judge Kathryn Mizelle of the Middle District of Florida ended the CDC’s COVID mask mandate on airplanes and public transportation.

Regardless of the outcomes in these — or any other — specific cases, it should be clear to all that the order of single, unelected, federal district court judge should not have such expansive consequence.

Fix the Court proposes three alternatives to the status quo that would prevent the forum shopping that has become commonplace when nationwide injunctions are sought.

These proposals would still allow for the benefits nationwide injunctions theoretically provide, and that parties could no longer have the same assurance that their case would be heard by a favorable judge we would hope that only the most egregious violations would seek this extreme, even if temporary, remedy.

The three proposals can be summarized as follows:
1. Transfer to D.C. District Court and consolidate
2. Transfer/consolidate + three-judge panel with direct SCOTUS appeal
3. Transfer + lottery

Read about them in greater detail in this one pager.

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