Monday, December 6, 2021

Spicer Preliminary Injunction Denied

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has denied Sean Spicer's motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent his removal from the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, concluding his likelihood of success on the merits is remote

The “failure to show a likelihood of success on the merits alone is sufficient” to deny a preliminary injunction. Hudson v. Am. Fed’n of Gov’t Emps., 308 F. Supp. 3d 121, 127 (D.D.C. 2018) (citing Ark. Dairy Co-op Ass’n, Inc. v. USDA, 573 F.3d 815, 832 (D.C. Cir. 2009)). But even if the merits of this case were closer, the plaintiffs have not met their burden of showing either that they face an irreparable injury or that the public interest favors a preliminary injunction. See Winter, 555 U.S. at 20. Although the plaintiffs express an interest in attending a Board meeting on December 6, 2021, they give no account of why missing that meeting would be personally injurious. See Compl. ¶ 23; Pls.’ Mot. at 36; Pls.’ Reply at 24–25, Dkt. 7; see also Newby, 838 F.3d at 8 (noting that irreparable harm must be “certain and great”). And although the plaintiffs argue that their removal from the Board would “silence dissenting views,” Pls.’ Reply at 25, they give no indication that their views on the governance of the Naval Academy actually differ from the other Board members’. Nor do they explain how it would serve the public interest to present advice to the President—the primary function of the Board, see 10 U.S.C. § 8468(f)—that the President does not intend to consider. For the foregoing reasons, the Court concludes that the plaintiffs are not entitled to the “extraordinary remedy” of a preliminary injunction. Winter, 555 U.S. at 22

Judge  Friedrich decided the motion. (Mike Frisch)

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