May 8, 2019

Trump administration to begin challenging nationwide injunctions

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech Wednesday that the Trump administration will be asking the Supreme Court to challenge the rights of federal district courts to issue nationwide injunctions.

"These orders are issued by federal district court judges on a broad range of issues — from national security to immigration, from border security to healthcare reform. [They] prevent the entire Executive Branch from enforcing a statute, a regulation, or a policy on a nationwide basis. And they apply everywhere, to everyone, granting relief even to those who are not parties to a case."
— Pence in a speech at the Federalist Society

What's next: A source confirmed to Axios that Attorney General Bill Barr will start moving on this in the next few days and that the Justice Department will begin looking for potential injunctions to appeal to the Supreme Court.

  • Justice Clarence Thomas noted in the Trump travel ban case that nationwide injunctions are "legally and historically dubious." Justice Neil Gorsuch has also expressed a similar sentiment.

Yes, but: AP notes, "For the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling on nationwide injunctions, it would first have to rule against the administration on the underlying merits of the case before it. Only at that point could the court consider whether a lower court order should apply nationwide or only to the people who are challenging an administration policy."

Past nationwide injunctions on Trump's policies:

  • A federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction against Trump's plan to rollback the Affordable Care Act's contraception rules in 13 states.
  • A federal judge in Oregon issued a nationwide injunction against Trump's plan to stop offering federal funding to doctors who offer abortions.
  • A federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction against Trump's plan to provide federal grants to police who enforce immigration rules.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: 16 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About 16 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits over the past three weeks due to the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Both the federal government and individual states are surveying different models of when it will be safe enough to reopen some parts of the economy and allow Americans to return to work. President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 1,506,936 — Total deaths: 90,057 — Total recoveries: 340,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 432,596 — Total deaths: 14,831 — Total recoveries: 24,235Map.
  3. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  4. Federal government latest: President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy.
  5. Public health latest: Dr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  6. States latest: New York's coronavirus death toll hits record high for third straight day.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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Trump plans second coronavirus task force focused on the economy

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus, two administration officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: There is growing energy within the West Wing to start easing people back to work by May 1. But some public health officials, including those on the coronavirus task force, have warned against doing so, raising concerns about reopening America too soon.