State of Hawaii v. Trump
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' EMERGENCY MOTION TO CLARIFY SCOPE OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION re #293 - Signed by JUDGE DERRICK K. WATSON on 7/6/2017. (emt, )CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEParticipants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAI‘I
STATE OF HAWAI‘I and ISMAIL
CV. NO. 17-00050 DKW-KSC
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’
EMERGENCY MOTION TO
CLARIFY SCOPE OF
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al.,
On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in this
matter, granted in part the Government’s stay application, “and narrow[ed] the scope
of the injunction” entered by this Court with respect to Sections 2(c), 6(a), and 6(b)
of Executive Order 13,780.1 Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, Nos.
16-1436 and 16-1540, slip op. at 11–12 (June 26, 2017) [hereinafter Slip. Op.] (per
curiam). Plaintiffs State of Hawai‘i and Ismail Elshikh, Ph.D. seek clarification
from this Court regarding the Supreme Court’s modification of the preliminary
injunction, in light of the manner in which the Government began implementing the
non-enjoined portions of EO-2 on June 29, 2017. See Pls.’ Emergency Mot. to
Executive Order 13,780 is entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the
United States,” 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6, 2017) [hereinafter EO-2].
Clarify Scope of Prelim. Inj., ECF No. 293 [hereinafter Motion]; see also Pls.’
Proposed Order Granting Mot., ECF No. 315-1 (reflecting consideration of “the
preliminary injunction entered on March 29, 2017 (Dkt. No. 270), amended on June
9, 2017 (Dkt. No. 291), and modified by subsequent decision of the United States
Upon careful consideration of the parties’ submissions, it is evident that the
parties quarrel over the meaning and intent of words and phrases authored not by this
Court, but by the Supreme Court in its June 26, 2017 per curiam decision. That is,
the parties’ disagreements derive neither from this Court’s temporary restraining
order, this Court’s preliminary injunction, nor this Court’s amended preliminary
injunction,2 but from the modifications to this Court’s injunction ordered by the
Supreme Court. Accordingly, the clarification to the modifications that the parties
seek should be more appropriately sought in the Supreme Court.3
See Hawaii v. Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2017 WL 1011673 (D. Haw. Mar. 15, 2017) (TRO);
Hawaii v. Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2017 WL 1167383 (D. Haw. Mar. 29, 2017) (Prelim. Inj.);
Am. Prelim. Inj., Hawaii v. Trump, CV. NO. 17-00050 (D. Haw. June 19, 2017), ECF No. 291.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(c) allows this Court to issue further orders with respect to an
injunction it issued, notwithstanding appeal. See Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc. v. Sw. Marine Inc.,
242 F.3d 1163, 1166 (9th Cir. 2001). “[A]n application with regard to an injunction ordinarily
must be made in the first instance to the district court under Rule 62(c) and it is only if relief is not
obtained there that the appellate court will consider acting under Rule 62(g).” 11 Wright, Miller,
& Kane, Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ. § 2904 (3d ed. 2013). That is perhaps the reason Plaintiffs opted
to proceed here. However, where, as here, the challenges do not derive from this Court’s own
orders, the Court sees no reason why the starting point had to originate here, or even why it made
sense to do so.
The Supreme Court stayed the preliminary injunction with respect to Section
2(c) in the following manner—
The injunctions remain in place only with respect to parties
similarly situated to Doe, Dr. Elshikh, and Hawaii. In practical
terms, this means that § 2(c) may not be enforced against foreign
nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship
with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign
nationals are subject to the provisions of EO-2.
Slip Op. at 12.4
The Supreme Court explained that the facts in the instant case and in No. 16-1436 (IRAP)
“illustrate the sort of relationship that qualifies”—
For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A foreign national who
wishes to enter the United States to live with or visit a family member, like Doe’s
wife or Dr. Elshikh’s mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for
entities, the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary
course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO-2. The students from the
designated countries who have been admitted to the University of Hawaii have
such a relationship with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted
an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer invited to address
an American audience.
Slip Op. at 12. With respect to enjoined portions of Section 6 relating to refugees, the Supreme
Court reasoned that the “equitable balance struck [with respect to Section 2(c)] applies in this
context as well.” Slip Op. at 13. It held that—
An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular
person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete
hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not
disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such
connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in
favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.
The Government’s application to stay the injunction with respect to §§ 6(a) and (b)
is accordingly granted in part. Section 6(a) may not be enforced against an
individual seeking admission as a refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide
relationship with a person or entity in the United States. Nor may § 6(b); that is,
In evaluating the Government’s application for a stay, the Supreme Court
observed that, “[i]n assessing the lower courts’ exercise of equitable discretion, we
bring to bear an equitable judgment of our own.” Slip Op. at 10 (citing Nken v.
Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433 (2009)). The Supreme Court’s equitable judgment to
“tailor a stay,” id., resulted in modifications to this Court’s preliminary injunction.
These modifications spurred the Government’s subsequent efforts to interpret the
stay and implement the non-enjoined portions of EO-2 by June 29, 2017.
Plaintiffs’ Motion challenges only the Government’s interpretation of the Supreme
Court’s June 26, 2017 stay. To be clear, the standard Plaintiffs ask this Court to
clarify—i.e., “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in
the United States,” Slip Op. at 12—is not set forth in any order of this Court.5
such a person may not be excluded pursuant to § 6(b), even if the 50,000-person
cap has been reached or exceeded.
Id. (citations omitted).
Plaintiffs’ briefs acknowledge as much. See, e.g., Pls.’ Mem. in Supp. 1, ECF No. 293-1 (“That
standard, the Supreme Court made clear, protects any foreign national with a ‘close familial
relationship’ with a person in the United States[.]” (citation omitted)); Pls.’ Mem. in Supp. 2
(“This Court should clarify as soon as possible that the Supreme Court meant what it said, and that
foreign nationals that credibly claim connections with this country cannot be denied entry under
the President’s illegal Order.”); Pls.’ Reply 1, ECF No. 303 (“The Government fundamentally
misconstrues the Supreme Court’s partial stay. The [Supreme] Court did not concoct an abstract
‘bona fide relationship’ standard that the Government can tailor to its liking[.]”); Reply 2 (“The
Court should correct the Government’s path, holding the Government to the clear terms of the
Supreme Court’s order.” (footnote omitted)). But see Motion 3 (“The Government has indicated
publicly that it will begin enforcing the non-enjoined portions of [EO-2] in a manner that conflicts
with this Court’s preliminary injunction, as well as the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 ruling that
[EO-2] may not be enforced against foreign nationals and refugees ‘who have a credible claim of a
bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.’” (quoting Slip Op. at 11, 13)).
Because Plaintiffs seek clarification of the June 26, 2017 injunction
modifications authored by the Supreme Court, clarification should be sought there,
not here. This Court will not upset the Supreme Court’s careful balancing and
“equitable judgment” brought to bear when “tailor[ing] a stay” in this matter. Slip
Op. at 10. Nor would this district court presume to substitute its own understanding
of the stay for that of the originating Court’s “exercise of discretion and judgment”
in “[c]rafting a preliminary injunction . . . dependent as much on the equities of a
given case as the substance of the legal issues it presents.” Slip Op. at 9. This
Court declines to usurp the prerogative of the Supreme Court to interpret its own
order and defers in the first instance. See Ala. Nursing Home Ass’n v. Harris, 617
F.2d 385, 388 (5th Cir. 1980) (“Great deference is due the interpretation placed on
the terms of an injunctive order by the court who issued and must enforce it.”); cf.
Alley v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., 590 F.3d 1195, 1202 (11th Cir. 2009)
(“The district court is in the best position to interpret its own orders.” (internal
quotation marks omitted)).6
See also Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Aisen, No. 15-CV-1766, 2016 WL 4681177, at *1 (S.D.
Cal. Sept. 7, 2016) (“The Supreme Court teaches that when questions arise as to the interpretation
or application of an injunction order, a party should seek clarification or modification from the
issuing court, rather than risk disobedience and contempt.”) (citing McComb v. Jacksonville Paper
Co., 336 U.S. 187, 192 (1949)).
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs’ request for clarification is DENIED
without prejudice to its re-filing with the Supreme Court.7
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 6, 2017 at Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
State of Hawaii, et al. v. Trump, et al.; Civil No. 17-00050 DKW-KSC; ORDER DENYING
PLAINTIFFS’ EMERGENCY MOTION TO CLARIFY SCOPE OF PRELIMINARY
Of course, if the Supreme Court wishes for this Court to decide the merits of the issues raised by
Plaintiffs’ Motion in the first instance, this Court will promptly do so.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?