"On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the 'travel ban' case, 'Trump v. Hawaii.' While the case presents many significant issues, one [...] extends beyond the immigration context, is the cert petition's third question: 'Whether the global injunction [issued by the lower court] is impermissibly overbroad.' This question centers on the propriety of the 'nationwide injunction,' [...] which is an issue of rising importance throughout the law. This Sidebar addresses when, if ever, a regional federal trial judge adjudicating a case involving the federal government can award nationwide injunctive relief--a court order that commands a party to take or refrain from taking some action throughout the country. In the context of a suit against the federal government, an injunction with this type of 'universal' effect acts to effectively void the law or policy in question. When a plaintiff brings a facial challenge to a federal law or policy, courts in recent years have generally held that district courts have 'considerable discretion in fashioning suitable relief,' including the power to provide for an injunction against enforcing the federal law or policy nationwide. Some courts and commentators have begun to argue, however, that this approach has gone too far, and district courts should only have the power to enjoin the government's conduct with respect to the parties before the court. Scholarly debate on this question has intensified in recent years as the 'nationwide injunction' has become more common. This Sidebar briefly explores the nationwide injunction at issue in the travel ban case and surveys a handful of the scholarly and judicial arguments surrounding the nationwide injunction in general."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10124
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html