Document Type


Publication Date

January 2017


This document is the written testimony submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. My testimony examines the authority of federal district courts to issue nationwide injunctions, defined as injunctions that bar the defendant from taking action against individuals who are not parties to the lawsuit. Such injunctions have been used frequently over the past few years to halt executive policies, particularly in immigration cases. My testimony explains that nationwide injunctions are sometimes essential to provide complete relief to the plaintiff, to avoid irreparable injury to those similarly situated to the plaintiff, and are sometimes the only practicable method of providing relief. However, I also acknowledge that they come with costs, such as preventing percolation of the law and promoting forum shopping. I argue that district courts should carefully consider the costs and benefits before issuing such injunctions.