United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
("the Government") have filed a Motion to Stay
Proceedings Pending Resolution of Preliminary-Injunction
Appeals ("Motion to Stay") seeking a stay of Case
Nos. TDC-17-2921 and TDC-17-2969 pending the United States
Supreme Court's resolution of Trump v. Hawaii,
No. 17-965 (U.S. Jan. 19, 2018). Plaintiffs in those cases,
Iranian Alliances Across Borders ("IAAB"), Doe
Plaintiffs 1-6, and Iranian Students' Foundation
(collectively, "the IAAB Plaintiffs") and Eblal
Zakzok, Sumaya Hamadmad, Fahed Muqbil, and Doe Plaintiffs 1-3
(collectively, "the Zakzok Plaintiffs") oppose the
Motion and have filed their own Motion for Entry of a
Scheduling Order ("Motion for a Scheduling Order").
The Government has not moved to stay Case No. TDC-17-0361,
and Plaintiffs in that case, International Refugee Assistance
Project ("IRAP"), HIAS, Inc., Middle East Studies
Association ("MESA"), Arab-American Association of
New York ("AAANY"), Yemeni-American Merchants
Association ("YAMA"), Doe Plaintiffs 1-5, Muhammed
Meteab, Mohamad Mashta, Grannaz Amirjamshidi, Fakhri
Ziaolhagh, Shapour Shirani, and Afsaneh Khazaeli
(collectively, "the IRAP Plaintiffs") have not
joined the Motion for a Scheduling Order. Having reviewed the
briefs on the Motions, the Court finds that no hearing is
necessary. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the
reasons set forth below, the Motion to Stay is GRANTED. The
Court also stays consideration of Case No. TDC-17-0361
pending the Supreme Court's resolution of Trump v.
Hawaii. The Motion for a Scheduling Order is DENIED
September 24, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued
Proclamation No. 9645, "Enhancing Vetting Capabilities
and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United
States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats"
(the "Proclamation"), 82 Fed. Reg. 45161 (Sept. 27,
2017). The Proclamation was the third iteration of the
President's efforts to ban the entry of nationals from
certain designated countries into the United States.
See Exec. Order 13, 769, "Protecting the Nation
from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States"
("EO-1"), 82 Fed. Reg. 8977 (Jan. 27, 2017); Exec.
Order 13, 780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign
Terrorist Entry into the United States"
("EO-2"), 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 9, 2017). The
IRAP Plaintiffs, later joined by the IAAB and Zakzok
Plaintiffs, moved for preliminary injunctive relief from the
Proclamation. On October 17, 2017, the Court granted a
preliminary injunction that barred the enforcement of most
provisions in Section 2 of the Proclamation, except with
respect to those individuals who lack a bona fide
relationship with a person or entity in the United States.
Int'l Refugee Assistance Project ("IRAP")
v. Trump, 265 F.Supp.3d 570, 633 (D. Md. 2017),
aff'd 883 F.3d 233 (4th Cir. 2018).
Government requested that the Supreme Court stay enforcement
of the preliminary injunction, as well as an injunction
imposed by the United States District Court for the District
of Hawaii in Hawaii v. Trump, 265 F.Supp.3d 1140,
1161 (D. Haw. 2017), aff'd in part, vacated in
part, 878 F.3d 662 (9th Cir. 2017). Appl. for Stay,
Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965 (U.S. Nov. 20, 2017). On
December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court stayed the injunctions
pending disposition of the cases by the United States Courts
of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits, as well as
pending any review of the circuit court rulings by the
Supreme Court. Trump v. IRAP, 138 S.Ct. 542 (2017);
Trump v. Hawaii, 138 S.Ct. 542 (2017). On December
22, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the preliminary
injunction entered by the District of Hawaii, but stayed its
ruling in light of the Supreme Court's December 4, 2017
stay order. Hawaii v. Trump, 878 F.3d 662, 702 (9th
Cir. 2017). The Supreme Court granted the Government's
petition for a writ of certiorari in that case and will hear
oral argument on April 25, 2018. Trump v. Hawaii,
138 S.Ct. 923 (2018). In Trump v. Hawaii, the
Supreme Court will consider (1) whether the "challenge
to the President's suspension of entry of aliens abroad
is justiciable"; (2) "[w]hether the Proclamation is
a lawful exercise of the President's authority to suspend
entry of aliens abroad"; (3) "[w]hether the global
injunction is impermissibly overbroad"; and (4) whether
the Proclamation violates the Establishment Clause.
Id; Pet. Writ Cert, at I, Trump v. Hawaii,
No. 17-965, 2018 WL 333818 (U.S. Jan. 5, 2018); Br. Opp'n
at i, Trump v. Hawaii, No. 17-965, 2018 WL 417995
(U.S. Jan. 12, 2018).
cases before this Court, the Government filed the Motion to
Stay on January 19, 2018. The IAAB Plaintiffs and Zakzok
Plaintiffs (collectively, "Plaintiffs") filed their
Motion for a Scheduling Order on February 2, 2018. Although
the IRAP Plaintiffs have not taken a position on either
motion, they have requested that the Court allow them to
participate in discovery if the Motion to Stay is denied and
the Motion for a Scheduling Order is granted.
February 15, 2018, the Fourth Circuit affirmed this
Court's grant of a preliminary injunction but also stayed
its decision in light of the Supreme Court's stay.
IRAP v. Trump, 883 F.3d 233, 274 (4th Cir. 2018). On
March 9, 2018, the Government filed a petition for a writ of
certiorari that is currently pending before the Supreme
Court. Pet. Writ Cert., Trump v. IRAP, No. 17-1270,
2018 WL 1419884 (U.S. Mar. 9, 2018).
Motion to Stay, the Government seeks a stay on the grounds
that (1) the Supreme Court's resolution of Trump v.
Hawaii will likely provide dispositive guidance on some
or all of the issues in this case; (2) other courts hearing
challenges to the Proclamation and other versions of the
travel ban have stayed district court proceedings pending a
ruling from the Supreme Court; and (3) the Supreme Court
might resolve the merits of Plaintiffs' claims,
eliminating the need for further district court proceedings.
The Government further argues that, at a minimum, this case
should not proceed to discovery because (1) appellate
decisions will likely provide important guidance regarding
the scope of discovery; (2) Plaintiffs have not justified a
need for immediate discovery; and (3) the requested stay is
reasonable in length and will not prejudice Plaintiffs.
oppose the Motion to Stay, arguing that a stay would cause
further injury in the form of prolonged separation from
family members, some of whom are elderly, very ill, or at
risk of persecution. They claim that the prospect of the
Supreme Court deciding the merits of their claims is
speculative, and, in any event, their free speech, equal
protection, due process, free association, and Administrative
Procedure Act ("APA") claims are not before the
Supreme Court. Plaintiffs also argue that the Government has
not shown that it will be significantly burdened without a
stay. They instead request to move forward with discovery
now, regardless of whether a motion to dismiss is filed, and
assert that discovery can initially be limited to (1)
obtaining two reports with attachments submitted by the
Secretary of Homeland Security to the President, identified
in Sections 1(c) and 1(h) of the Proclamation; (2) receiving
materials related to procedures used by government officials
to implement the waiver process described in Section 3(c) of
the Proclamation; and (3) responding to Government requests
relating to the extent of Plaintiffs' injuries.
Plaintiffs acknowledge the prospect of contested discovery
but argue that the specter of discovery disputes necessitates
that the discovery process begin sooner rather than later, to
account for any attendant delays.
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power in every
court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket
with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and
for litigants." Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S.
248, 254 (1936). The exercise of this power is especially
important "in cases of extraordinary public moment"
where a party "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 v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 707
(1997) (quoting Landis, 299 U.S. at 256)).
Nevertheless, the burden of showing the necessity for a stay
rests with the moving party, and is heightened when a stay
will "work damage" to another party.
Landis, 299 U.S. at 255. "The party seeking a
stay must justify it by clear and convincing circumstances
outweighing potential harm to the party against whom it is
operative." Williford v. Armstrong World Indus.,
Inc., 715 F.2d 124, 127 (4th Cir. 1983).
considering a discretionary motion to stay, courts typically
examine three factors: (1) the impact on the orderly course
of justice, sometimes referred to as judicial economy,
measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating of
issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected
from a stay; (2) the hardship to the moving party if the case
is not stayed; and (3) the potential damage or prejudice to
the non-moving party if a stay is granted. See Lockyer v.
Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005);
see also, e.g., Mullins v. Suburban Hosp. Healthcare
Sys., Inc., No. PX-16-1113, 2017 WL 3023282, at *1 (D.
Md. July 17, 2017); Davis v. Biomet Orthopedics,
LLC, No. 12-3738-JKB, 2013 WL 682906, at *1 (D. Md. Feb.
22, 2013); Washington v. Trump, No. 17-0141-JLR,
2017 WL 2172020, at *2 (W.D. Wash. May 17, 2017) (citing
Lockyer); Meyers v. Bayer AG, 143 F.Supp.2d 1044, 1049
(E.D. Wise. 2001).