Minnesota Law Review

Note, Litigating the Contours of Constitutionality: Harmonizing Equitable Principles and Constitutional Values when Considering Preliminary Injunctive Relief

Preliminary injunctions are a frequently sought form of relief in public law litigation. However, federal courts are inconsistent in the tests they employ to grant or deny this relief. Two recent cases, Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council and Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, highlight a particularly important doctrinal grey area: how structural constitutional considerations ought to interact with traditional equitable relief. This Note seeks to disentangle federalism and separation of powers concerns from the traditional purpose of preliminary injunctive relief, which is to minimize irreparable harm. It argues for preserving the sliding-scale approach traditionally used to effectuate this purpose and calls for Supreme Court guidance in articulating a comprehensive and uniform standard.

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