NBC News' Black Lives Matter sues Trump administration over use of force on D.C. protesters says

Black Lives Matter filed suit along with the American Civil Liberty Union against the administration for violating the protesters' civil rights.

and this is just one example of many suits filed against this US administration, and suites are regularly probably filed against many (all?) US presidential administrations.

Question: Since US administrations are ephemeral, what happens to lawsuits in cases when they are either just starting or well underway and an administration exits due to the election of a new president? Does it matter if the new administration is of the same party or a different one?

Is there a "standard procedure" of some kind for this?

  • 1
    I'm not sure, but I believe the outgoing administration is automatically replaced with the incoming administration (at which point, depending on political considerations, they might inform the court that they no longer wish to defend the case).
    – Kevin
    Jun 5, 2020 at 1:32

2 Answers 2


The suit is going to be not against the individuals in the administration but the government as an entity so the lawsuit proceeds. However, the new administration may choose not to defend the lawsuit, in which case the court may allow another interested party to stand in defense of the lawsuit (which happened with some of the suits against the ACA that the Trump administration declined to defend).


The lawsuit names specific individual Defendants: Donald J Trump, William Barr, Mark Esper, Gregory Monahan, James Murry, William Walker, James McConville, John Does 1-100 and John Poes 1-20.

See Link to actual lawsuit

Upon leaving office (change in admistration) the lawsuit remains viable.

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