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In June of this year Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stated in an opinion, “I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions. These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding. And they appear to be inconsistent with longstanding limits on equitable relief and the power of Article III courts. If their popularity continues, this court must address their legality.”
In a filing before the Supreme Court this week the Solicitor General, Noel Francisco, opposing the national injunction against the so- called ban of transgendered persons in the military asked the Supreme Court to set aside the District Court decision on the basis that court lacks the power to impose an injunction nationally.
As a matter of fact the Administration only asks the court to rule on the issue of power of a district court to impose orders across the entire country.
We see from the Solicitor-General’s filing he does not ask the Supreme Court to set aside the district court order for any reason other than it lacks nationwide authority asking the court to only decide that issue:
In 2018, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced
a new policy concerning military service by
transgender individuals. Under the Mattis policy, transgender
individuals would be permitted to serve in the
military, while individuals with a history of a medical
condition called gender dysphoria would be disqualified
from military service unless they meet certain conditions.
The question presented is:
Whether the district court erred in preliminarily enjoining
the military from implementing the Mattis policy
While the Supreme Court rarely accepts a direct appeal from the decision of a federal district court, preferring to wait for the courts of appeals to weigh in, this filing directly takes on the power of individual judges in the lower courts to impose rulings beyond the parties in the case before them.
In the current case Aiden Stockman sued the president with the district court deciding for Stockman granting a temporary injunction against enforcing the policy pending the outcome of litigation. This filing along, with others the Administration likely has or will file in other courts across the country, would likely find the various Circuit Courts of Appeals disagreeing as to a district court’s power thus forcing the Supreme Court to take and decide whether the exercise of such power by individual district courts is constitutional.