In the 2017 case, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish v. United States Department of the Interior, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (“New Mexico Department”) was not entitled to a preliminary injunction that barred the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from releasing endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild on federal lands within New Mexico. The Tenth Circuit held that the New Mexico Department did not show that irreparable injury to its wildlife management efforts or its state sovereignty was likely. The Tenth Circuit also departed from other circuits’ use of a modified, “sliding-scale” preliminary injunction test, instead interpreting the United States Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (“Winter II”) as invalidating the continued use of sliding-scale tests. This Comment argues that the Tenth Circuit was correct in rejecting sliding-scale preliminary injunction tests and instead requiring that moving parties demonstrate, at a minimum, that all four factors of the traditional test are met. Further, this Comment contends that other jurisdictions should adopt the Tenth Circuit’s approach of emphasizing likely irreparable injury as the most important prerequisite to preliminary relief.
Curtis Cranston, The Department That Cried Wolf: Tenth Circuit Vacates Preliminary Injunction in Absence of Likely Injury in New Mexico Department of Game & Fish v. United States Department of the Interior, 59 B.C.L. Rev. E. Supp. 23 (2018), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol59/iss9/2