United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MILLER JUDGE
before the court is a motion for relief from judgment filed
by plaintiffs National Coalition for Men, Anthony Davis, and
James Lesmeister (collectively, “Plaintiffs”).
Dkt. 90. Plaintiffs also filed a “supplemental motion
for summary judgment” containing additional briefing.
Dkt. 91. Defendants Lawrence Romo and the Selective Service
System (collectively, “Defendants”) responded.
Dkt. 92. Having considered the motions, response, and
applicable law, the court is of the opinion that
Plaintiffs' motions (Dkts. 90, 91) should be DENIED.
court previously granted summary judgment in Plaintiffs'
favor. Dkt. 87. However, the court denied Plaintiffs'
request for injunctive relief because Plaintiffs failed to
request an injunction in their motion and did not brief the
issue. Id. at 19. Plaintiffs now ask the court to
reconsider its denial of the injunction request. Dkts. 90,
91. Defendants oppose injunctive relief and have appealed the
court's original summary judgment ruling. Dkts. 92, 93.
threshold matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)
governs motions for relief from judgment. Typically,
“[g]ross carelessness, ignorance of the rules, or
ignorance of the law are insufficient bases” for relief
under Rule 60. Edward H. Bohlin Co. v. Banning Co.,
6 F.3d 350, 357 (5th Cir. 1993). However, even if the court
could consider Plaintiffs' request for an injunction
strictly on the merits, Plaintiffs' arguments still fail.
Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate that they are entitled to
relief under a typical injunction analysis. Injunctive relief
is an “extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded
upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such
relief.” Winter v. Nat, Res. Def. Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22, 129 S.Ct. 365 (2008). A plaintiff
seeking a permanent injunction must demonstrate: “(1)
that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies
available at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to
compensate for that injury; (3) that, considering the balance
of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in
equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would
not be disserved by a permanent injunction.”
Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, 561 U.S. 139,
156-57, 130 S.Ct. 2743 (2010) (quoting eBay Inc. v.
MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388, 391, 126 S.Ct. 1837
the third and fourth factors of this test weigh heavily
against granting injunctive relief. Plaintiffs request that
the court “either require both men and women to
register, or require neither men nor women to register, for
the [Military Selective Service Act].” Dkt. 90 at 7.
Both of these proposed actions would place inequitable
hardship on Defendants as well as disserve the public
interest. At best, both of these changes would “lead to
serious logistical problems, as well as millions of dollars
in potentially wasted resources.” Dkt. 92 at 10-11. At
worst, upheaval of the draft registration system could
“compromis[e] the country's readiness to respond to
a military crisis.” Id. at 9.
“[A]lthough registration imposes material interim
obligations . . . [the court] cannot say that the
inconvenience of those impositions outweighs the gravity of
the harm to the United States” should registration be
enjoined. Rostker v. Goldberg (Rostker I),
448 U.S. 1306, 1310, 101 S.Ct. 1 (Brennan, Circuit Justice
1980). The balance of equities requires-and the public
interest is best served by-preserving the current
registration system pending appellate review.
Rostker v. Goldberg (Rostker II), 453 U.S. 57, 101
S.Ct. 2646 (1981), counsels deference. “The
constitutional power of Congress to raise and support armies
and to make all laws necessary and proper to that end is
broad and sweeping.” Rostker II, 453 U.S. at
65 (quoting United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S.
367, 377, 88 S.Ct. 1673 (1968)). While Congress is not
“free to disregard the Constitution” in
exercising its military powers, “the Constitution
itself requires judicial deference to congressional judgment
in this area. Id. at 67.
case, judicial deference requires the court to deny
injunctive relief despite the ongoing constitutional
violations. The draft has significant foreign policy, as well
as national security, implications. See Rostker I,
448 U.S. at 1310 (“[T]he inauguration of registration
by the President and Congress was . . . an act of independent
foreign policy significance-a deliberate response to
developments overseas.”). The legislative branch is
best equipped-and constitutionally empowered-to reform the
draft registration system in light of these important policy
considerations. See Rostker II, 453 U.S. at 65
(“Not only is the scope of Congress' constitutional
power in this area broad, but the lack of competence on the
part of the courts is marked.”). Moreover, Congress has
created a commission that is currently studying draft reform
and will make recommendations in the coming years. Dkt. 92 at
9. While these factors do not preclude judicial review
entirely, they do strongly suggest that the court should
defer to Congress by denying injunctive relief at this time.
Plaintiffs' motions for relief from judgment (Dkt. 90)