I was reading a discussion on a list serv that I thought would be of interest to readers. The discussion involved the injunction issued by a federal magistrate in Idaho banning the enforcement of a law against same sex marriage. I had not realized that the injunction ran against all people in the state. This appears to be problematic.
It is one of the scandals of our time that federal district courts (not to mention magistrates) issue injunctions against all people in a state when the power of the district court really only extends to the parties in the case. This is one of the ways that courts exercise unjustified power.
The courts can exercise similar power in ways that do conform to existing law. If the decision were appealed to a federal appellate court, then the circuit court decision would function as a precedent that would be binding on all district courts (and circuit court panels) within the circuit. Thus, the law of precedent would operate to bind other people in the area who were not parties to the case.