Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SCOTUS Notes Requirement of Likelihood of Injury, Not Just Possibility, to Obtain a Preliminary Injunction

Per WINTER, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, et al. v NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL, INC., et al., No. 07–1239 (Nov. 12, 2008):

The District Court and the Ninth Circuit also held that when a plaintiff demonstrates a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits, a preliminary injunction may be entered based only on a “possibility” of irreparable harm. . . . The Navy challenges these holdings, arguing that plaintiffs must demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable injury—not just a possibility—in order to obtain preliminary relief. . . .

We agree with the Navy that the Ninth Circuit’s “possibility” standard is too lenient. Our frequently reiterated standard requires plaintiffs seeking preliminary relief to demonstrate that irreparable injury is likely in the absence of an injunction.


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