The Volokh Conspiracy

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Justice Kagan Enters the Debate on the National Injunction


Justice Kagan was interviewed today at Northwestern Law School, and she addressed the national injunction. Here's the account by Josh Gerstein of Politico, which leaves no doubt about where she stands:

During her remarks on Wednesday in a conversation with Northwestern Law Dean Hari Osofsky, Kagan took a notably hostile and forceful stand against a practice that hasn't generated much public debate but has roiled the legal community in recent years: individual U.S. District Court judges blocking federal government policies nationwide.

Executive branch officials from the Biden, Trump and Obama administrations have all complained about their major policy initiatives often being hamstrung by a single judge.

"This has no political tilt to it," Kagan said, taking aim not only at the sweeping injunctions but at the transparent "forum shopping" by litigants filing cases in courts they think will be friendliest to them.

"You look at something like that and you think, that can't be right," Kagan said. "In the Trump years, people used to go to the Northern District of California, and in the Biden years, they go to Texas. It just can't be right that one district judge can stop a nationwide policy in its tracks and leave it stopped for the years that it takes to go through the normal process."