Generals of the Resistance: Multistate Actions and Nationwide Injunctions
61 Pages Posted: 25 May 2022 Last revised: 29 Jun 2023
Date Written: May 23, 2022
State attorneys general (AGs) have become leaders of the political resistance against recent presidential administrations. They are suing the federal government with increasing frequency, seeking nationwide injunctions that thwart presidential priorities and shape national policies. Nationwide injunctions have sparked considerable debate among jurists, scholars, and policymakers. However, the largely court-centric debate has overwhelmingly overlooked the role that state litigants and litigators play in shaping criticisms of the nationwide injunction. States and AGs have unique attributes, advantages, and incentives that allow them to frequently seek and successfully secure nationwide injunctions. And these advantages are enhanced when states litigate together. Because states and AGs contribute to common criticisms of the nationwide injunction, reforms to the remedy should consider this special class of litigants and litigators.
Keywords: nationwide injunction, state attorney general, multistate litigation, presidential administration, politics, immigration, clean power program
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