United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR STAY
PENDING SUPREME COURT PROCEEDINGS [DOC. 105]
Honorable Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge.
INTRODUCTION and BACKGROUND
case is one of many challenging the constitutionality of
President Trump's Executive Order No. 13780, titled
“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry
Into the United States, ” 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6,
2017) (the “Executive Order”).
25, 2017, in a case presenting a similar challenge to the
Executive Order, the Fourth Circuit upheld a Maryland
District Court's nationwide preliminary injunction
prohibiting enforcement of § 2(c) of the Executive Order
- which temporarily suspended entry into the United States of
nationals from six predominately Muslim countries. See
Int'l Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump, 17-1351,
__F.3d__, 2017 WL 2273306 (4th Cir. May 25, 2017), as
amended (May 31, 2017) (“IRAP”). On
June 1, 2017, the government filed a petition for
certiorari in IRAP, and the Supreme Court
ordered an expedited response due June 12, 2017.
move for a stay of these proceedings pending the Supreme
Court's consideration of the decision in IRAP.
[Doc. 105]. Plaintiffs oppose the stay.
Court GRANTS Defendants' motion for stay
Court “has broad discretion to stay proceedings as an
incident to its power to control its own docket, ”
Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706 (1997), and in
considering the “economy of time and effort for itself,
for counsel and for litigants, ” Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). This power applies
“especially in cases of extraordinary public moment,
” where “a plaintiff may be required to submit to
delay not immoderate in extent and not oppressive in its
consequences if the public welfare or convenience will
thereby be promoted.” Clinton, 520 U.S. at 707
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). However, the
Court “must tread carefully in granting a stay of
proceedings, since a party has a right to a determination of
its rights and liabilities without undue delay.”
Ohio Envtl. Council v. U.S. Dist. Court, S. Dist. of
Ohio, E. Div., 565 F.2d 393, 396 (6th Cir. 1977).
“The proponent of a stay bears the burden of
establishing its need.” Clinton, 520 U.S. at
determining whether to stay proceedings pending
“another case's imminent disposition, ” the
Court considers four factors: “ the potential
dispositive effect of the other case,  judicial economy
achieved by awaiting adjudication of the other case,  the
public welfare, and  the relative hardships to the parties
created by withholding judgment.” Caspar v.
Snyder, 77 F.Supp.3d 616, 644 (E.D. Mich. 2015). The
parties do not address the “public welfare”
factor, and neither does the Court. However, the remaining
three factors weigh in favor of a stay pending the Supreme
Court's review in IRAP.
Potential Dispositive Effect of Supreme Court Review in
IRAP; and Judicial Economy Achieved by Staying the
Plaintiffs are correct that the Supreme Court's review in
IRAP will likely not be fully dispositive of this
case, it is sufficient that those proceedings will likely
“settle many” issues and “simplify them
all, ” Landis, 299 U.S. at 256, such that a
stay will “foster efficiency and conservation of
resources for both the parties and the court.”
Fairview Hosp. v. Leavitt, No. 05-1065, 2007 WL
1521233, at *3 (D.D.C. May 22, 2007) (granting a stay pending
the resolution of another case that “would not
foreclose the necessity of litigation in [the stayed] case,
” but would likely settle some issues and simplify
decision by the Supreme Court will be particularly relevant
to - and likely controlling of - this Court's disposition
of a pending motion to dismiss and pending motion to compel.
It would also provide guidance regarding the appropriate
scope of discovery, and may help to resolve anticipated
disputes related to Plaintiffs' outstanding discovery
requests. Specifically, a decision should provide the legal
standard for reviewing the Executive Order under the
Establishment Clause, and should answer whether
Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972), limits
review to the four corners of the order. If the Supreme Court
holds that Mandel limits review to the face of the
Executive Order, most - if not all - of Plaintiffs'
current discovery requests would become irrelevant. On the
other hand, if the Supreme Court concludes that review is not
limited to the four corners of the Executive Order, then
Plaintiffs' discovery requests concerning
pre-inauguration evidence (e.g., statements made by Candidate
Trump, documents prepared related to the so-called Muslim
ban, etc.) may be highly relevant. A Supreme Court decision
in IRAP will guide, if not control, the Court's
disposition of both pending and upcoming issues. Accordingly,
a stay is warranted to conserve the resources of the parties
and the Court.
argue that Defendants do not establish that there is a
“significant possibility that the Supreme Court [will]
reverse the judgment below, ” see United States v.
Mandycz, 321 F.Supp.2d 862, 864 (E.D. Mich. 2004).
However, this does not prevent the Court from entering a
stay. In determining whether the Executive Order likely
violated the Establishment Clause, the Fourth Circuit applied
a standard set forth in Justice Kennedy's concurrence in
Kerry v. Din, __U.S.__, 135 S.Ct. 2128, 2140-41
(2015). See IRAP, 2017 WL 2273306, at *16-18.
Although the Fourth Circuit's use of, and analysis under,
that standard was well reasoned and sound, the legal standard
is not well settled. The Supreme Court is likely to address
the standard used by the Fourth Circuit and settle a question
of law - i.e., the correct legal standard to use in reviewing
the Executive Order under the Establishment Clause. Such
guidance by the Supreme Court will simplify these
proceedings. See Landis, 299 U.S. at 256.
sufficiently demonstrate that the dispositive effect of the
Supreme Court's review in IRAP and the judicial
economy achieved by awaiting ...