Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced legislation Wednesday that would prevent district court judges from issuing nationwide injunctions.
Cotton and Meadows introduced the Nationwide Injunction Abuse Prevention Act, which would put an end to nationwide injunctions and district courts from blocking policy changes from activist judges.
Policy decisions ought to be made by elected representatives accountable to the American people, not activist judges with lifetime appointments. In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of activist forum shopping and nationwide injunctions to thwart the administration’s priorities and grind government to a halt. This bill will restore respect for the system of government outlined in the Constitution by limiting the use of nationwide injunctions by district court judges.
Meadows and Cotton’s legislation follows as a U.S. District Court for the North District of California reinstated a nationwide ban on the Donald Trump administration’s new asylum rules. The California court’s ruling defied a ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the district court’s nationwide injunction was overly broad.
Cotton’s office contended that it should not require a lengthy appeals process to correct unlawful injunctions that should never have been issued in the first place.
The Nationwide Injunction Abuse Prevention Act would prohibit district court judges from issuing injunctions broader than the parties involved in the case or the geographic boundaries of the federal district court.
Meadows said in a statement Wednesday:
Our laws need to be vigorously vetted through the courts, but it makes zero sense for the legality of a nationwide law to rest entirely on the opinion of one judge, or one district court. A district court in California should not be given sweeping authority to issue a ruling—let alone on dubious legal reasoning—striking down policy from a duly elected President.
“Current law inadvertently empowers detrimental judicial activism, and it needs to change. This is a common-sense reform that returns our system of checks and balances where it was intended to be. I want to thank Senator Cotton for joining me in the effort,” Meadows added.