473 U.S. 1301 (1985)

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U.S. Supreme Court

OPM v. AFGE, 473 U.S. 1301 (1985)

Office of Personnel Management v. American Federation

of Government Employees, AFL-CIO

No. A-5

Decided July 5, 1985

473 U.S. 1301


An application to vacate the Court of Appeals' June 29, 1985, order -- which, inter alia, directed that the July 1, 1985, effective date of certain new regulations of applicant Office of Personnel Management be stayed until further order of that court -- is granted. A fews days before the effective date of the regulations, which allow federal agencies to give more weight to merit and less weight to seniority in personnel decisions, respondent sought a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the regulations from the District Court, which denied the requested order but explicitly contemplated a prompt hearing on a preliminary injunction. On appeal, the Court of Appeals, in addition to staying the effective date of the regulations, ordered that respondent's emergency motion for injunctive relief from that court be held in abeyance, and that the District Court decide by July 10, 1985, "any motion for a preliminary injunction." The established rule is that denials of temporary restraining orders are ordinarily not appealable, and the Court of Appeals erred in reasoning that, because a hearing on a preliminary injunction could not be held before the regulations went into effect, the District Court's denial of the temporary restraining order was tantamount to a denial of a preliminary injunction. The authorities relied upon by the Court of Appeals relate to grants, rather than, as here, denials of temporary restraining orders. Thus, the Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to review the District Court's denial of the temporary restraining order, and should have dismissed the appeal, thereby allowing respondent to proceed in the District Court on a motion for a preliminary injunction.

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