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Zzyym v. Pompeo - No. 15-cv-02362-RBJ, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27647 (D. Colo. Feb. 21, 2019)

Rule:

The Supreme Court of the United States has identified four factors that guide the issuance of a stay pending appeal: "(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies."

Facts:

Final Judgment was entered in this case on September 19, 2018, ECF No. 89. I held that the U.S. Department of State ("Department") violated the Administrative Procedure Act5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A) and (C) and enjoined the Department from relying upon its binary-only gender marker policy to withhold the requested passport from Plaintiff Dana Zzymm ("Dana"). Defendants appealed and now move to stay this judgment pending appeal. Dana filed response in opposition to this motion.

Issue:

Should the Court exercise its discretion to issue a stay pending appeal in favor of Defendants?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado held that Defendants failed to show that circumstances justify an exercise of the Court's discretion to stay an injunction. District Courts have the authority to stay an injunction while an appeal is pending from the final judgment that granted the injunction. Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(c). However, a stay is an intrusion into the ordinary process of administration of judicial review, and accordingly is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result to the appellant. The Supreme Court of the United States has identified four factors that guide the issuance of a stay pending appeal: "(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies. The Department argued that compliance with the Court's injunction during pendency of the appeal would irreparably harm defendants and the public. In its analysis of the four harm factors, the Court explained that where, as here, the Government's asserted injury is exclusively one involving the public interest, the second and fourth prongs of the stay analysis overlap. Plaintiff argued that if the Department chooses to pursue the option of updating their software systems, economic loss does not, in and of itself, constitute irreparable harm. The Court concluded the factors did not weigh in the defendants' favor. Because the Tenth Circuit has held that economic loss by itself is not irreparable harm, the Court could not conclude that updating its software systems would cause irreparable harm to the Department.

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