Published on: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an order denying the government's request for a stay in to stay in Williams, Warden, et al. v. Wilson, Craig, et. al., No. 19A1041 (May 26, 2020).  The Court's 6 to 3 order states:

The application for stay presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is denied.

The Government is seeking a stay only of the District Court's April 22 preliminary injunction. But on May 19, the District Court issued a new order enforcing the preliminary injunction and imposing additional measures. The Government has not sought review of or a stay of the May 19 order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Particularly in light of that procedural posture, the Court declines to stay the District Court's April 22 preliminary injunction without prejudice to the Government seeking a new stay if circumstances warrant.

Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would grant the application.

The Sixth Circuit's decision in Craig Wilson, et al. v. Mark Williams, et al., No. 203447 (6th Cir. May 4, 2020) (Order), was the subject of an earlier Latest News Post here.  Readers will remember that a unanimous 3-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied the Federal Bureau of Prison's application to stay District Judge James S. Gwin's (N.D. Oh.) preliminary injunction ordering Elkton prison officials to take immediate steps to identify and transfer all medically vulnerable prisoners from Elkton FCI and its low security satellite prison.

The parties' stay application briefing is available on the Supreme Court's website here.  The Training Division is committed to providing relevant, timely, and useful resources to defenders and CJA attorneys regarding the impact of COVID-19 on federal criminal practice through our COVID-19 pages on