Benisek v. Lamone

Facts of the Case

“In May 2017, six years after the Maryland General Assembly redrew the Sixth Congressional District, plaintiffs, several Republican voters, moved the District Court to enjoin Maryland’s election officials from holding congressional elections under the 2011 map. They asserted that extending this constitutional offense ,the alleged gerrymandering,into the 2018 election would “be a manifest and irreparable injury.”  In order to allow time for the creation of a new districting map, plaintiffs urged the District Court to enter a preliminary injunction within the next two months.”


Under the Double Jeopardy Clause, does the fact that a decision was vacated as unconstitutional prevent that case’s acquittal from barring further prosecution on issues already decided in the defendant’s favor?


Without resolving the substantive questions, the Court held, in an unsigned per curiam opinion, that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Republican voters’ motion for a preliminary injunction. To succeed on a motion for preliminary injunction, the party seeking the injunction must show likelihood of success on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public’s interest. Even assuming, contrary to the district court’s findings, that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits, the Court found that they had unreasonably delayed seeking a preliminary injunction and that the public interest was not served in granting the injunction. Thus, it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to deny the motion for preliminary injunction.

Case Information

Citation: 585 US (2018)
Granted: Dec 8, 2017
Argued: Mar 28, 2018
Decided: Jun 18, 2018
Case Brief: 2018