In particular, my objectives are three-fold. As regards Syngenta, I will examine the case’s background and procedural history to highlight the strategic decisionmaking and forum shopping decisions made by all of the parties and their lawyers in the contest. Also, by revisiting the Supreme Court’s decision in the case, I hope to offer a better perspective on what the justices did decide and, correspondingly, also reflect on what they did not decide. Even as Syngenta nodded in recognition that some power exists to enjoin state proceedings, its ambit was left undefined. Recognizing the scope of the Court’s decision is critical if any insight is to be gained into the import the decision bears on the limits of the federal judicial injunctive power.

My second objective concerns Stephenson. Like the earlier study of Syngenta, the examination of Stephenson will also consider the case’s background and procedural history. Because there ultimately was no decision by a majority of the Court in the case, Part II of this paper more carefully parses the intermediate appellate court’s opinion, along with the positions advanced by the parties and their amici before the United States Supreme Court. Examining the arguments in this manner helps to frame the parameters of the debate over federal injunctive power as it arose in the Stephenson context.

Finally, Part III considers, in the aftermath of Syngenta and Stephenson, the future battles we should expect over the use of the civil injunctive power by federal judges to restrain state litigants. In considering the legal questions likely on the near horizon, we will also discover the most important and revealing connection between these ostensibly unrelated cases.

Included in

Jurisdiction Commons