Defense Distributed v. Bruck, No. 21-50327 (5th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Appellants (“Defense Distributed”) have challenged publication restraints imposed by the U.S. State Department, federal courts, and the State of New Jersey (“NJ”) after appellants published the internet computer-assisted design (“CAD”) files for a single-round plastic pistol. Although Defense Distributed is still prevented from publishing, the CAD files it published remain available on many other websites. At issue in this combined appeal and motion for mandamus relief stems from a district court’s (“DC”) order severing the case and transferring it to a federal court in NJ. The court found that the Defense Distributed satisfied the first two conditions for mandamus relief. Further, the NJ Attorney General did not carry its burden to demonstrate that transfer is more appropriate than the plaintiffs’ choice of forum.
The court concluded that the DC’s order severing and transferring the claims against the NJAG to the District of New Jersey was a clear abuse of discretion, giving rise to an appropriate exercise of the court’s mandamus power.