Federal Courts Stories
Chapter 5: The Story of Tarble’s Case: State Habeas and Federal Detention 68 results (showing 5 best matches)
- the Supreme Court concluded that state courts lacked jurisdiction to redress, by habeas corpus, unlawful detention by federal officials. It did so in the post-Civil War setting of a challenge to Edward Tarble’s enlistment in the army. The Court concluded that only federal courts could resolve such cases, apparently by force of the Constitution itself. But a similar jurisdictional question had been fought out in the antebellum era in a dispute over federal enforcement of fugitive slave statutes. And it too was resolved in favor of exclusive federal jurisdiction over habeas actions against federal officers. Within Tarble’s story, then, is another story.
- Supporting the non-traditional view are statements of many framers indicating they believed some items of federal jurisdiction would be exclusively federal by force of the Constitution. While most assumed that, under the Constitution, the states would retain such preexisting jurisdiction as they already had, this belief was not inconsistent with a notion that state courts might lack jurisdiction over, for example, federal criminal prosecutions and certain maritime actions that arguably formed no part of the state courts’ preexisting jurisdiction. Such views of constitutional exclusivity also entered into the debate over the creation of the federal courts preceding the passage of the 1789 Judiciary Act. And Justice Story in ...of federal jurisdiction could be either constitutionally or statutorily driven: “[I]t is manifest that the judicial power of the United States is unavoidably, in some cases, exclusive of all state authority, and in all others, may be made so at the election of...
- story: the Supreme Court’s antebellum decision in involved the Wisconsin courts’ efforts to release a prisoner held for violation of the federal laws forbidding interference with the return of fugitive slaves.
- At a practical level, this absence of state court power may seem unexceptionable, especially because federal courts were (and are) available to litigants to seek habeas relief. But to the extent that is constitutionally based, it is difficult to square with traditional federal courts theory which posits that state courts are not constitutionally disabled from hearing Article III matters that lower federal courts could hear. Under the traditional view, is therefore wrong; federal court exclusivity to redress unlawful federal detention requires congressional action and is not constitutionally compelled. Another view attempts to square the result in with traditional federal courts theory by arguing that may be correct, but only if it is read as premised on implied congressional intent to make habeas jurisdiction over federal officers exclusively federal. A less accepted view is that traditional federal courts theory may be open to question, and that ...areas of federal... ...federal...
- Article III’s text seems to leave the creation of lower federal courts to Congress. It is widely accepted among federal courts scholars that this language resulted from the Madisonian Compromise between those at the constitutional convention who wanted the Constitution itself to require lower federal courts and those who preferred to rely primarily on the state courts to handle federal judicial business, subject to possible Supreme Court appellate review. The upshot of the Compromise was that lower federal courts would not be constitutionally required, but that Congress would have the power to create them or not. From the premise that Congress need not create lower federal courts, traditionalists argue that state courts are constitutionally able to hear, in the first instance, all Article III cases within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Similarly, Justice Paine for the Wisconsin Supreme Court argued from Article III’s text and Madison’s journals that state courts...
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Chapter 9: The Story of Ex parte Young: Once Controversial, Now Canon 79 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419 (1793). For more on the “shock of surprise” story,
- remains firm in the pantheon of federal jurisdiction, one cannot avoid remarking on its sub silentio message regarding the parity of state and federal courts. Quite unlike the history of itself, the question of the parity between state and federal courts is contested deeply. Those who at any given moment dislike the exercise of federal jurisdiction maintain that state courts are equals with the federal courts when it comes to protecting federal rights. Proponents of federal jurisdiction, in turn, doubt this. Many of the Supreme Court’s cases curtailing use of the federal injunctive power rest on such claims about parity.
- has become bedrock. The Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution protects states from certain suits as defendants in federal court. Despite that amendment, plaintiffs may sue state officials in federal court to enjoin the enforcement of unconstitutional acts. The doctrine has been relied upon, over the course of one hundred years, by plaintiffs of all ideological stripes. is also a case that, in a sense, gives a lie to broad notions of “parity” between state and federal courts. One of the most enduring issues of federal jurisdiction is whether state courts will be as protective as their federal cousins in protecting federal constitutional rights. Yet, even at times when the Supreme Court has developed jurisdictional doctrine that appears to favor state court jurisdiction, the rule of ...history and application of that doctrine indicate, when state laws are being challenged as violative of federal constitutional rights, there is often a preference for, and a sense to, having a choice...
- Time, though, plays funny tricks on jurisdictional doctrines. The law of jurisdiction grants access to the courts, and access is required to protect rights. Yet, over time, the kinds of plaintiffs coming to federal court, and the rights they seek to assert, change. In the era, at the turn of the twentieth century, corporate plaintiffs and their allies sought protection of property and contract rights in federal court. In the 1960s and 1970s, civil rights plaintiffs came to federal court seeking redress on issues of equality and personal liberty. The doctrine that at its inception favors one ideology may come in a later day to favor another. That is why the law of federal jurisdiction is constantly changing.
- stands as an unalterable testament to the fact that federal courts are necessary when questions of federal law predominate regarding federal rights. Recall that Attorney General Young’s objection to the suit against him was precisely that the state courts could do the job. Admittedly in light of the huge penalty provisions this was disingenuous in that particular case. But many echo his general point. Judge Lochren, on the other hand, was not persuaded, insisting the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment compelled litigation in a federal court. By their unending, steadfast support of Court itself.
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Chapter 14: The Story of Lincoln Mills: Jurisdiction and the Source of Law 80 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Second, as a case study in the ability of the federal courts to take on such an assignment and to develop a body of law that is coherent in itself, and that deals effectively with both the problems of federalism and harmonization of the authority conferred with a range of surrounding federal laws and policies, the story of
- . The Court could certainly have declined to find in § 301 a broad delegation of authority to develop federal law, and it would then have had to consider whether there were sufficient elements of federal law inherent in an action under § 301 (for example, the provision that in such an action a union “may sue or be sued as an entity”) to sustain the grant of federal jurisdiction. If the Court had determined, as Justice Frankfurter contended, that there were not, it would then have been confronted by the question whether Congress could confer jurisdiction on the federal courts over cases governed by state law even in the absence of any party whose presence As discussed below, many scholars have contended that Congress has such authority, and have done so on the basis of a range of arguments all focusing in one way or another on the appropriateness of allowing access to a federal forum in certain cases where there is a reasonably perceived danger that state courts may not give...
- a federal employee prosecuted in a state court for a traffic offense sought to remove the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute. The Court avoided the “protective jurisdiction” issue by reading the statute not to permit removal of an action where the case against the employee was based on state law and the employee was not asserting a federal defense.
- The problem is of more than historical interest, since several actual and contemplated statutes that confer federal jurisdiction over actions not grounded in federal law may not be valid unless some theory of protective jurisdiction comes to their aid. Court may have properly declined to confront the issue, it’s hard to see how the Court can avoid it forever. And the case for limited legislative authority to confer a protective federal jurisdiction within the scope of the “arising under” clause is strong when Congress has made an explicit and reasonable decision that the advantages of providing a federal forum—be they advantages of relative lack of bias, of the uniformity and quality of federal procedure, or of the efficiency benefits to be obtained from concentrating litigation in the federal courts—are substantially related to the furtherance of a purpose within the legislative powers enumerated in the Constitution. To be sure, the greater power (here, to legislate the rule of...
- Turning to the broader question of “the substantive law to be applied in suits under § 301(a),” Justice Douglas announced the Court’s conclusion that “the substantive law to apply … is federal law, which the courts must fashion from the policy of our national labor laws.” Such laws included the Taft–Hartley Act itself, the “penumbra” of various express statutory mandates, the policies underlying federal legislation, and “state law, if compatible with the purpose of § 301.” “The range of judicial inventiveness,” he wrote, “will be determined by the nature of the problem.” he invoked the concept of federal common law without using those very words when he wrote that “[i]t is not uncommon for federal courts to fashion federal law where federal rights are concerned.”
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Chapter 15: The Story of Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino: Federal Judicial Power in Foreign Relations Cases 88 results (showing 5 best matches)
- the Court asserted the power to apply the common law in commercial cases. involved a commercial dispute filed in the federal district court in New York, with federal jurisdiction predicated on diversity of citizenship. In such a case, Justice Joseph Story held, the federal courts are authorized to apply “the general principles and doctrines of commercial jurisprudence”; since the case did not turn on law, he reasoned, the federal courts were not bound to follow the New York state courts’ interpretation of the relevant commercial principles. reached this conclusion notwithstanding the Rules of Decision Act, which then provided that “[t]he laws of the several states, except where the constitution, treaties, or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply.” It is critical to recognize, however, that the general commercial law that the federal
- Federal courts have played a limited role in fashioning conflicts doctrines on account of the doctrine, which holds that a federal court sitting in diversity must apply the conflict of laws rules of the state in which it sits. Nonetheless, there are some areas in which the federal courts have fashioned federal choice of law rules: they have long done so in admiralty suits, and a number of lower courts have applied federal conflicts rules to suits that arise under federal law for jurisdictional purposes but that include state-law issues requiring a choice of which state’s law to apply. itself as a rule of policy, designed to maximize uniformity of approach between federal and state courts sitting in the same state and to minimize the ’s federal-law Act of State doctrine—which effectively applied the same substantive law in federal court that the foreign state would apply in its own court, and imposed that choice upon the state courts as well—arguably furthers
- was decided, the Court held that federal courts may make federal common law to govern disputes between States. Not long thereafter, the Court held that disputes involving the commercial relations of the United States government were likewise governed by federal common law. And the Court has repeatedly sanctioned the use of federal common law to fill gaps in federal statutory schemes or to create private remedies for federal statutory violations. federal common law thus has not prevented the development of federal common law in particular substantive enclaves. As Judge Henry Friendly famously observed,
- Much the same can be said of the various abstention doctrines that protect state courts and state law from federal interference. These doctrines come in a variety of flavors: abstention requires federal courts to abstain where resolution of an unresolved state law question by the state courts may avoid the need to decide a federal constitutional question; abstention require federal courts to defer to state courts where abstention would, respectively, avoid interference with a complex state administrative scheme or avoid attempting to resolve an unsettled question of state law involving important state interests; abstention requires federal courts to forbear from interfering with pending state criminal or quasi-criminal proceedings; abstention requires federal courts to defer to parallel state court proceedings where parallel litigation would be exceptionally wasteful. ...denial has been justified in terms of the particular expertise that courts have in fine-tuning their exercise of...
- and the Federal Common Law.
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Chapter 3: The Story of Klein: The Scope of Congress’s Authority to Shape the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts 72 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506 (1869) (declining jurisdiction where Congress repealed the grant of appellate jurisdiction pursuant to which the case had come to the Court);
- to prohibit Congress from ever seeking to influence the independent judgment of the federal courts as to the meaning of the Constitution would call into question a range of congressional enactments. Such legislation, the Court has said, can “deter or remed[y] constitutional violations … even if [Congress] in the process … prohibits conduct which is not itself unconstitutional.” Further, in another context, the Court arguably has given Congress even more latitude. In , the Court upheld legislation in the face of -based arguments that purported to limit the federal courts from applying their own independent judgment to decide constitutional claims brought by habeas petitioners challenging their state court criminal convictions. decision honored statutory amendments that required federal habeas courts to leave intact objectively reasonable state court resolutions of constitutional claims the federal court would have reached a different conclusion in the absence of the legislated...
- , the Court rejected Congress’s selective elimination in the wake of the Civil War of pre-existing federal court jurisdiction over compensation claims brought by those whose property had been taken during the War. (Specifically, Congress only eliminated jurisdiction over decision, the Court rejected legislation that curtailed federal court jurisdiction over habeas claims brought by detainees held as part of the ongoing war on terrorism. The two decisions arose in very different contexts and appear, on first blush, to have little in common. I will suggest, however, that both decisions follow from the same fundamental and timeless constraint on Congress’s otherwise broad authority to control the jurisdiction of the federal courts.
- is best read to stand for the principle that “whatever the breadth of Congress’s power to regulate federal court jurisdiction, it may not exercise that power in a way that requires a federal court to Put another way, Congress may not compel the courts to enforce an unconstitutional law or, in the Court’s own words, to be “instrumental to that end.” This same principle drove the Court’s opinion in
- After all, the most recent editions of the Hart & Wechsler Federal Courts text considerably scaled back coverage of the decision. Recent events, however, highlight ’s continuing significance. Until this past Supreme Court Term, stood as the only Supreme Court decision striking down legislation curtailing federal court jurisdiction. But with the war on terrorism that followed the attacks of September 11, 2001, ’s application to the theoretical debate over jurisdiction-stripping is no longer the exclusive province of academics. In a series of cases brought by prisoners detained as part of the war on terrorism seeking to win their freedom, the Supreme Court rendered several decisions generally favoring broad judicial review of such petitions. —by dramatically limiting the jurisdiction of the federal courts to hear such claims in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (“DTA”)
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Introduction: The Idea of a Jurisprudence, a Course, and a Canon: Introducing Federal Courts Stories 104 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Story of
- The Story of
- The question of access to federal courts for an implied cause of action—in this case, seeking injunctive relief under a federal statute—is also central to a case that reminds us of the hundreds of Indian tribes that predated the United States, living and governing themselves on what is now U.S. territory. As Catherine Struve’s chapter shows, the case law on tribal sovereignty and the case law on state sovereignty use many of the same terms and work on parallel analytic paths including the respective reaches of executive, judicial, and congressional authority, the allocation of power between states, tribes, and the federal courts, and the attributes of sovereignty. also illustrates, grappling with federal Indian law is challenging. A central part of Federal Courts jurisprudence are questions of how the Constitution constrains or structures the relations between the state and federal governments. Yet, as Philip Frickey has shown, the federal government’s claim of plenary power over...
- Powers Divided and Overlapping in the National Government: The Courts, the Congress, the Executive.
- The Federal Courts and the Federal System
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Biographies of Contributors 18 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Federal Courts Stories Contributor Biographies
- is Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. After attending Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk to Judge Carl McGowan and to Justice Potter Stewart. He served as special assistant to Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. at the Department of Health, Education & Welfare and then practiced law at Williams and Connolly. He joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1982, where he regularly teaches Federal Jurisdiction and Criminal Law. He is the co-author of several editions of
- is Professor of Law and Basil Yanakakis Faculty Research Scholar at Boston University. He took his B.A. and J.D. degrees at the University of Kansas and earned an LL.M. from Harvard. He teaches Constitutional Law as well as Federal Courts, and his published works (University of Chicago Press, 2007). His most important books on Federal Courts are
- is the Joseph M. Hartfield Professor and Roy L. and Rosamond Woodruff Morgan Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He received a J.D. from Harvard, a B.A. from Pomona College, and an M.A. from Stanford in classical languages and literature. For many years he taught at Tulane University where he was the Robert A. Ainsworth Professor of Federal Courts and the Federal System. Prof. Collins teaches in the areas of Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, and Evidence. His primary research interests are in the history of the federal courts. In addition to various articles, he is the author of
- is a professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, where he teaches federal courts, civil procedure, and constitutional law. After graduation from law school, Pfander completed a federal clerkship, and worked as a practicing lawyer in Washington D.C. before starting his teaching career. Much of his scholarship focuses on the structure of the federal judiciary with a special emphasis on the institutional history of the federal courts in the early Republic. His most recent book,
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Employment Law Stories 22 results (showing 5 best matches)
- FEDERAL COURTS STORIES
- The Idea of a Jurisprudence, a Course, and a Canon: Introducing Federal Courts Stories
- Chapter 3: The Story of Klein: The Scope of Congress’s Authority to Shape the Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts
- Chapter 11: The Story of Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez: Tribal Sovereignty, Sex Equality, and the Federal Courts
- Chapter 5: The Story of Tarble’s Case: State Habeas and Federal Detention
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Chapter 11: The Story of Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez: Tribal Sovereignty, Sex Equality, and the Federal Courts 67 results (showing 5 best matches)
- concerns the story of the Santa Clara Pueblo—a Native American tribe that existed prior to the formation of the colonies that would become the United States. More particularly, it concerns the story of Julia Martinez, a Santa Claran, and her decades-long efforts to challenge, on her daughter Audrey’s behalf, the 1939 Pueblo ordinance that excluded Audrey from Pueblo membership because Myles Martinez (Julia’s husband and Audrey’s father) was Navajo rather than Santa Claran. And it concerns the story of the federal courts because the Martinezes’ challenge would raise questions of jurisdiction, implied rights of action, and sovereign immunity.
- The Court’s opinion in explains that result by reference to the need to preserve tribal autonomy—a goal that clearly was one of the purposes of the Indian-law provisions in the 1968 legislation. Critics, though, point to the ICRA’s other purpose—protection of individual rights—and question the Court’s decision to remit Julia and Audrey Martinez to the tribal forum which had already denied their claims. Feminists continue to divide over , debating whether the Court subordinated concerns of equality to the values of tribal sovereignty or whether instead it is fitting that a member’s efforts to reform her tribe should proceed from within rather than in an outside court system. The answer given in is that tribal fora—including tribal courts—are the exclusive venue for litigating non-habeas ICRA claims. thus implicates the larger story of tribes (and tribal courts) and their relationship to the federal (and state) court systems.
- held that, with the exception of habeas claims, ICRA claims are not cognizable in non-tribal court, the Court clearly viewed the ICRA as binding law for tribes, and the Court indicated an expectation that claims under the ICRA could be brought in tribal fora, including tribal courts. Under , then, the ICRA apparently creates a federal cause of action, but one that can be brought only in tribal court. And because there is no statutory framework for appellate review of tribal-court judgments by the U.S. Supreme Court (or by any other federal court), the result under is a federal cause of action over which no federal court has jurisdiction. The ICRA, as construed in , thus constitutes an unusual example in the debate over Congress’s power to exclude from all federal-court jurisdiction questions of federal law.
- That relationship should be of intense interest to students of federal courts law, for it raises many of the questions with which that body of law has traditionally occupied itself. Must a federal-court forum be available to vindicate all federal claims, or is a non-federal forum capable of adjudicating them? Should the federal courts open their doors to an individual’s claim against a government actor? How can a judge tell whether a federal statute gives rise, impliedly, to a private cause of action? But these questions, in , play out not in the context of the federal-state relationship but rather in the context of the relations between federal and tribal governments.
- In one view, this reading accords with the intent of those who, in crafting the ICRA, stressed the need to tailor its precepts to the experiences of specific tribes. The ICRA may be seen as an instance where the value of uniform interpretation of federal law—stressed in other areas as a reason for U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction—is outweighed. makes a contribution to the debate over parity between federal and nonfederal courts by not only affirming the competence of tribal courts as interpreters of federal law but indeed granting them jurisdiction over ICRA claims (outside the context of habeas). This is so despite the concerns raised by some, during the hearings that led to the ICRA’s adoption, regarding the independence of tribal-court judges. Of course, state judges too lack Article III tenure, and their competence to adjudicate federal claims is well-recognized. But though state courts may have (in effect) exclusive jurisdiction in some cases brought under federal law—claims...
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Chapter 12: Sovereignties—Federal, State and Tribal: The Story of Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida 89 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Supreme Court’s holding in did not put an end to the legal and political contestation among the Seminole Tribe, the State of Florida and the federal government about either who would decide, or who would reap the financial benefits from gaming on the reservation. As of this writing, the story is still unfolding.
- The Story of
- The Story of
- The story of lies at the intersection of three major currents of Federal Courts law and history: the status of the states in the federal system, the relationship of Indian tribes to the states and the national government, and the power of Congress to control the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Turning on the interactions among Articles I and III and the Eleventh and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, the decision exemplifies a remarkably intense set of debates among scholars and judges about the role of state “sovereign immunity” from suit in the constitutional system.
- The Eleventh Amendment, ratified by 1798, was the first to overrule a Supreme Court decision, one in which the Court had upheld its own jurisdiction over a claim against a state. The resulting controversy posed questions about the relationships between the state and federal governments in the new constitutional order, about the relevance of states’ “dignity” as sovereigns to their amenability to suit and their authority to pay their debts as they saw fit, about the powers of the Court, and about the relevance of the English doctrine of sovereign immunity to the nascent federal legal order. But if its roots lie in constitutional disputes of the 1790s, the story of
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Chapter 6: Riding the Color Line: The Story of Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Co 53 results (showing 5 best matches)
- But abstention has also proven difficult and costly for litigants and courts alike. Procedurally, litigants are required to undertake the expense of a second lawsuit in state court, obviating the efficiencies that come from federal supplemental jurisdiction. And they are required to pursue their claims to the highest level in the state system, for only the state’s highest court can provide a definitive construction of state law. They do so in the face of considerable uncertainty. First, the highest courts of most states have discretionary jurisdiction, and may not grant review of a case simply visiting from federal court—or be permitted to under their own standing rules. Second, federal plaintiffs risk preclusion of their federal constitutional claims while they obtain their state-law ruling. Early on, the Supreme Court required federal plaintiffs in abstention cases to inform state courts of the federal constitutional context in which they were being asked for an interpretation of...
- In March, 1941, the Supreme Court issued a short decision ordering a Texas federal district court to retain a case on its docket while directing the parties to seek “a determination of proceedings, to be brought with reasonable promptness, in the state court …” and the Pullman Company, a storied success of the gilded age teetering on the brink of a precipitous and ultimately fatal decline. Justice Frankfurter noted that the controversy raised federal constitutional issues, but thought that those issues might be avoided if Pullman’s objection to the Commission’s statutory authority to issue the order proved correct.
- Although the lower federal court had determined that state law did not support the Commission’s order, Justice Frankfurter noted that federal judges, no matter how “able and experienced,” could only “forecast” state law. Were that forecast to be incorrect—a judgment reserved under our system of federalism to the Texas courts—the difficult constitutional questions in the case could be avoided altogether. Justice Frankfurter envisioned an elegant solution, one that permitted the courts to disentangle the state and federal law questions, leaving each to the courts with the proper expertise and authority. The federal court would retain the case on its docket. The litigants would file a parallel suit in state court, where the state’s highest court could definitively rule on the state issue. And, once the litigants had obtained that ruling, they could return to federal court if necessary for a ruling on their federal claims.
- It permits federal courts to abstain from deciding cases that are clearly within their jurisdiction when federal constitutional questions might be avoided by a ruling clarifying or narrowing state law. If the state’s highest court rules that the state’s action was unauthorized, the federal question becomes moot. If not, the federal question becomes unavoidable, and the federal court can consider it without treading on the state’s authority. There is a significant caveat, however, for the federal court must first determine that state law is susceptible of an interpretation that would allow it to avoid the constitutional question. If state law is clear or such an interpretation implausible, the federal court should exercise its jurisdiction to decide the federal questions presented. true, for if the federal constitutional claim is easily disposed of in favor of the state, it is less likely that abstention will be attractive.
- Substantively, courts have found it difficult, and often impossible, to disentangle state and federal claims in the way envisioned in Pullman. The doctrine is awash in discretion—how unclear must the state law be? How sensitive the federal constitutional question?—and the perseverance required to return from exile to state court makes abstention a tempting way to avoid not just difficult constitutional questions but those a federal judge prefers not to answer. State-court judges also face complicated incentives, for the ultimate question of the federal constitutionality of state action always shadows their decisions.
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Chapter 8: “Not a Happy Precedent”: The Story of Ex parte Quirin 68 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The story of Until recently, however, the case held little interest as a legal precedent. The Supreme Court upheld President Roosevelt’s establishment of a military tribunal to try accused Nazi saboteurs in 1942, but on such narrow grounds as to be easily distinguishable in subsequent cases. The troubling circumstances of its decision led the post-World War II Court to refrain from relying on it as authority for a governmental power to employ military tribunals. The original edition of Hart and Wechsler’s
- The story of may not provide a definitive answer to this question, but it does show that claims of military necessity and the need for secrecy are sometimes made to manipulate us rather than (just) to protect us. The sordid story may well justify a measure of skepticism towards executive claims of military necessity and demands for secrecy. In any event, because the Supreme Court was itself among the manipulated, is a tainted precedent for upholding the power of the political branches at the expense of the courts or of the rights of individuals. The Court itself was sufficiently uneasy about the circumstances of its decision that it framed its holding on these points in the narrowest possible terms. On the other hand, given the circumstances, the Court’s affirmation of the right of enemy belligerents to challenge the validity of the tribunals set up to try them was admirable, and should survive as
- Dasch might have been pleased, however, with his portrayal in the Hollywood film based on the story of the accused saboteurs, “They Came To Blow Up America.” The film was released in 1943, well before the record in was made public, so the film’s plot was based on the scraps that had been fed to the press (and likely also on additional consultations with Hoover). (There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film noting that the true facts are unknown because the record is sealed.) The Dasch character is the protagonist, portrayed by a tall and debonair George Sanders as a German–American who had been planted by the FBI in the Nazi inner circle to infiltrate and thwart the Nazi sabotage plot. The story is flattering to Dasch, but the true star is the FBI (and, by extension, Hoover).
- The Federal Courts and the Federal System
- The Story of
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Chapter 7: The Story of Fay v. Noia: Another Case About Another Federalism 73 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The story behind arose and still employed today, illustrate the concrete problems with which courts must contend—at trial, at later stages of the state process, and so on through to habeas proceedings in federal court. The Supreme Court’s treatment of procedural default in habeas cases may seem abstract and bloodless in judicial opinions. Yet the implications for checking abuses of governmental power are real to the people who get hurt. The circumstances in
- Finally, of course, the story is very much about federalism—what it is and what it was when treatment of procedural default was an important element in the Warren Court’s project to make habeas corpus an effective mechanism for enforcing constitutional rights in criminal cases. The Warren Court was not indifferent to federal structural arrangements, nor to the state interests served by procedural rules. But the justices sitting in those years did not understand federalism always to call for deference to state prerogatives, but rather to entail an appropriate allocation of authority between national and local institutions.
- “This is a case about federalism.” So began Justice O’Connor’s opinion for the Court in or that, in the summer of 1991, the Court should insist that federalism led ineluctably to the conclusion that the federal courts could not entertain constitutional claims advanced in a state prisoner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The scenario was familiar. Roger Keith Coleman had missed a filing deadline when he was litigating his federal claims in state court, the state courts had declined (for that reason) to consider the claims on the merits, and the federal courts must close their doors as well, out of respect for the state’s prerogatives. The Court had taken the same position in “procedural default” cases before (and routinely reaffirms it today): In the name of federalism, state prisoners who fail to comply with state processing rules typically forfeit access to federal court via habeas corpus; individual and federal interests in the federal enforcement of federal rights must...
- story is also about even-handed treatment as a moral imperative. In the peculiar circumstances of this case, three co-defendants were convicted on essentially the same invalid evidence. Two were able to win their freedom, but state procedural rules condemned the third, Noia, to life imprisonment. Equity for Noia was manifestly a driving force all along the way, sometimes transcending the values associated with federalism as both state and federal judges alike protested that there must be some judicial means of correcting the injustice. At the very least, the desire to open the courts to Carlo Noia may have produced prisoner-friendly supporting rationales that would carry over to other cases.
- was immediately undermined by cases in which the newly constituted Court dealt with procedural default at trial in state court rather than at the appellate stage. Writing for the Court in allowed defendants to “sandbag” the state courts, that is, deliberately to save federal claims for litigation exclusively in federal court later. It was hard to think that anyone would actually engage in sandbagging, thus sacrificing the chance that the state appellate courts might find a claim meritorious as well as the opportunity to seek direct review in the Supreme Court. Yet to preserve the state criminal trial as the “main event,” Rehnquist resurrected the adequate state ground doctrine for use in habeas cases and held that, in future, a state court decision foreclosing a federal claim because of a prisoner’s default would usually also bar adjudication in federal court. It would no longer be necessary to show that a prisoner’s default was a “deliberate bypass” of state processes. All...federal
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Chapter 10: The Story of Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics 90 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Yet there was reason to doubt that the right to sue a federal officer was properly characterized as a creature of state law. In the Court had ruled that the federal district court could exercise jurisdiction over a suit against a federal officer, seeking damages for a violation of the Fourth Amendment. While the Court did not expressly rule on the question whether the Fourth Amendment gave rise to an implied federal right of action, it treated the complaint’s allegations to that effect as stating a federal question substantial enough to ground the district court’s jurisdiction. The litigation was to provide the Court with a chance to revisit the implied right of action issue.
- by ten years, the Court ruled in that section 1983 provides a federal right of action for individuals who allege a violation of constitutional rights under color of state law. Much of the Court’s opinion was devoted to parsing the history of Reconstruction-era civil rights legislation. The majority concluded that Congress had provided individuals with a federal right of action, one that was available even where the state courts were open and would in theory provide a tort remedy for the conduct in question. Justice Frankfurter dissented, arguing that state court remedies were adequate and that the federal remedy should arise only where the state or local government’s policies, customs, or practices violated the Constitution. Like broadens federal jurisdiction by establishing a federal right of action to remedy state constitutional violations, reflecting both a measure of distrust in the state courts and an acceptance of the institutional reality that the Court cannot effectively...
- For a discussion of the growth of section 1983 litigation, and the Court’s response, see Richard H. Fallon, Jr., Daniel J. Meltzer & David L. Shapiro,
- of federal law. Section 1983 applied only to actions under color of state law; it made no provision for suits against federal officers. During the antebellum period, individuals were free to file common law suits for trespass against federal officers in the state courts. Congress had long since provided for the removal of such actions to federal court and removal had become a routine practice. Despite this removal practice, the right of action and measure of damages were thought to depend on state common law. So long as state law was seen as controlling the claim for relief, the plaintiff could not sue federal officers in federal court as an initial matter.
- would eventually provide the foundation for an expansion of civil rights litigation in the federal courts. came down, the Court has held that state governments and their statewide administrative agencies are not persons within the meaning of section 1983 and bear no liability for the constitutional torts of their officers. On the other hand, the Court has subjected local governments to liability. The Court’s preference for official and local government liability reflects the tradition of federal judicial solicitude for notions of sovereign immunity—a tradition that continues to complicate individual efforts to enforce federal rights against state governmental entities.
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Chapter 4: The Story of Michigan v. Long: Supreme Court Review and the Workings of American Federalism 91 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Supreme Court’s Jurisdiction Over Decisions of State Courts
- When cases presented both federal and state law issues, explained, the Court would review the federal issue and, if the state court had decided it correctly, affirm on that ground. If the state court had decided the federal issue incorrectly, the Court would then decide whether the state court had relied on some alternate state law ground that was “sufficiently broad to maintain the judgment” notwithstanding the error of federal law. If the state court had adopted such a state law ground, the Court would simply accept it—without inquiring into its correctness as a matter of state law—and affirm on that basis. Finally, if the Court found that an erroneous decision of federal law required reversal and that no sufficient alternative state law ground existed, it would reverse.
- Third, Stevens argued, the Court’s new rule was systemically dysfunctional. It promised to swamp the Court with cases in which there was “no federal interest whatever” and, consequently, to distract it from hearing cases where it could “make its most effective contribution to our federal system of government.” In reviewing state court decisions, Stevens declared, “the primary role of this Court is to make sure that persons who seek to federal rights have been fairly heard.” If state courts did not deny a federal right, their actions were of no “inherent concern to this Court.” Ensuring the “independence” of state court judgments was the responsibility of the state courts themselves, not of the United States Supreme Court.
- Slowly and unevenly, the resulting Burger Court began to cabin many of the Warren Court’s criminal law rulings, and its retrenchment suddenly gave new significance to the principle of state court “independence.” Although state courts could not deny or limit federal rights, they could surely authorize broader rights than the United States Constitution granted. Many state supreme courts, in fact, enforced rules that gave criminal defendants greater protections than the Burger Court was recognizing. The California Supreme Court, for example, imposed tighter restrictions on both police searches and the in-court use of confessions than the Burger Court required under federal law. Equally important, many liberals began praising the state courts and urging them to become the new “guardians” of individual rights, inspiring what came to be known as “the new judicial federalism.” Led by Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., who had been a leader on the Warren Court and remained as the most...
- The Court subsequently modified this procedure in outlining what became the modern “adequate and independent state ground” doctrine. Instead of beginning with the federal law issue, as had done, the Court would examine the state law ground first. If that ground was sufficient to support the judgment, and if it was based solely on state law, then the Court would either dismiss the appeal or affirm the judgment below without reaching any federal law issue. Of course, if federal law was properly decisive regardless of state law, the Court would review the federal issue and decide on that basis. What became the “settled rule” by the early twentieth century, then, was that
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Chapter 2: The Story of Ex parte McCardle: The Power of Congress to Limit the Supreme Court’s Appellate Jurisdiction 87 results (showing 5 best matches)
- It is a far more serious matter when Congress purports to preclude any court, state or federal, trial or appellate, from hearing an individual’s constitutional claims. An aspect of that problem was presented in the recent decision in in which a federal statute purported to preclude all federal and state courts from exercising habeas corpus jurisdiction over claims by aliens challenging the legality of their detention at Guantánamo Bay as enemy combatants. The statute did not strip jurisdiction entirely, as it provided a substitute judicial review procedure in the federal courts. But the Supreme Court’s majority found the substitute to be constitutionally inadequate, and therefore ruled that the statute had unconstitutionally precluded all courts from providing a form of redress to which the detainees had a constitutional right. is notable as the only case clearly to hold that a congressional enactment purporting to limit federal court jurisdiction is unconstitutional. ...any court...
- In other situations, Congress has considered limiting the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction in response to an unpopular Supreme Court decision already rendered. Such a limitation would preclude the Supreme Court from solidifying or extending the precedent, and it might discourage lower federal or state courts from doing so as well. But the unpopular decision would remain on the books, and many believe that state and federal courts would be obliged to follow it. Even so, subordinate judges who disagree with a precedent can often find ways to distinguish if not undermine it. A recent proposal went further, as it would have not only stripped all federal courts of jurisdiction over challenges to a government’s “acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government” but also provided that federal court precedents on that subject would not be binding in state court proceedings.
- A distinct cluster of theories would impose a different set of limits, and only conditional limits, on Congress’s exercise of its exceptions power. The theories rest on the premise that Article III requires that the federal judiciary hear certain cases—on one view, constitutional cases; cases, federal question cases, and cases affecting foreign envoys); These theorists contend that Congress may make exceptions to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction only if it has conferred on the lower federal courts jurisdiction to hear the excluded cases. This approach plainly emphasizes the role of the federal courts in promoting federal supremacy and subordinates concerns about promoting uniformity; indeed, on this view, Congress’s action in would raise no constitutional difficulty, as the federal Circuit Court possessed jurisdiction to hear McCardle’s claim.
- The Story of
- A 1996 Supreme Court decision, to the Supreme Court from a lower federal court’s decision in habeas corpus, but, in doing so, relied more centrally on the continuing availability of an original writ of habeas corpus as an alternative route to the Court. The statutory scheme in required that a second or successive federal habeas corpus petition filed by a prisoner detained under a state criminal conviction be dismissed unless it was authorized (under statutorily-prescribed criteria) by the federal court of appeals. The statute further precluded appeals from these “gatekeeping” decisions of the court of appeals.
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Chapter 1: The Story of Marbury v. Madison: Judicial Authority and Political Struggle 67 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Republicans argued that the Circuit Courts were costly, unnecessary and problematic because most litigation was best handled in state courts. Senator Breckenridge noted that in Kentucky federal courts had been resolving cases brought by out-of-state land claimants (the situation in ) and said, “The judicial powers given to the federal courts were never intended by the Constitution to embrace, exclusively, subjects of litigation, which could, with propriety, be left with the State courts. Their jurisdiction was intended primarily to extend to great national and foreign concerns.” Similarly, Abraham Baldwin argued that the Circuit Court system “attempts to draw off more business from the State courts to the Federal Courts.”
- The dominant approach reflected in the case law is structural. Courts invalidated statutes that affected the autonomy of courts and juries, even when there was no obvious inconsistency between the statute and constitutional text. Thus, statutes that took away the right to a jury trial in some circumstances, or that legislatively resolved controversies between specific parties, or that imposed additional work burdens on judges were overturned. In addition, federal courts, dominated by pro-nationalist Federalists, invalidated state statutes that trenched on national authority, while Republicans unsuccessfully argued the mirror position, that federal courts should invalidate congressional statutes that trenched on state authority. Outside of these areas, courts were very deferential, invalidating only clearly unconstitutional statutes. This approach reflects a politics-law distinction. Courts aggressively reviewed statutes that undermined the autonomy of actors in the constitutional...
- The decision is, however, one of fundamental importance. While the exercise of judicial review was not novel in state or federal courts, was the first case in which the Supreme Court explicitly embraced the power and struck down a federal statute. Moreover, the case was not simply an exercise of judicial review, but it reflected an expansive conception of the judicial power to review legislative acts affecting the judiciary: Underlying the decision is the idea that courts can protect themselves against “jurisdiction stuffing,” legislation that increases jurisdiction in a manner that overburdens a court and thus undercuts its ability to carry out its core functions.
- Court to have authority to decide these cases. As one Republican wrote: “I apprehend great danger and mischief from the (Federal) Court in this State; a great part of the lands here are claimed by non-residents, … [who] will bring their suits in the Federal Court even when they have but little prospect of success here, with a determination to appeal to the Supreme Court; the distance is so great, the scarcity of money and indigent circumstances of many of our citizens such that they will not be able to follow up the appeal, they must either give up their lands or be forced into an ungenerous and unjust compromise.” , the case established that the Supreme Court would decide these diversity cases, a deeply troubling result for Republicans.
- Most significant, at a time in which the judiciary was under serious political challenge and when its powers were not fully defined, the case was a landmark because of the Court’s assertion that federal courts had authority to review and provide remedies against Executive Branch decisionmaking. The immediate issue in the case was the availability of the mandamus remedy. Even though the Court did not issue the writ, Chief Justice Marshall’s conclusion that, as a matter of law, a federal court had the power to issue a writ of mandamus against the Secretary of State was deeply controversial, and the assertion of that power (rather than the assertion of power of judicial review) was the focus of the controversy that the case engendered. More broadly,
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Chapter 13: The Story of Crowell: Grounding the Administrative State 64 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The Solicitor General’s argument was carefully structured. It opened with a demonstration that the federal statute was an ordinary workers’ compensation law, similar in all essential respects to workers’ compensation laws around the country. The point of the argument, of course, was to make the Court nervous about the implications of affirming the lower courts’ decisions: Doing so, the Solicitor General implicitly suggested, would undermine the stability of a well-accepted administrative technique that had proven itself as a practical way of dealing with the problem of workplace injury. The brief next referred to a large number of federal statutes providing that the federal courts were to do no more than ask whether the agency’s fact-findings were supported by evidence, and need not re-determine the facts through a trial de novo. Again, the strategy was to show that affirming the lower courts would destabilize well-settled law.
- What remained was some mopping up. Assuming that the agency’s finding that Knudsen was indeed Benson’s employee had to be subject to de novo reconsideration by a federal court, what procedure should be used? There were some precedents supporting de novo reconsideration. When a person challenged a military tribunal’s attempt to court-martial him on the ground that he never lawfully enlisted, which the courts had held was a basic fact in Hughes’s sense, the challenge took the form of a petition to the federal courts for a write of habeas corpus. So did immigration cases in which citizenship was at issue.
- None of these procedures was attractive in the workers’ compensation context. The federal statute created a system of appeals to the district courts in the form of an action to enjoin the agency from doing anything to enforce its award. The courts could clearly decide legal questions in these proceedings. What about factual ones? Hughes invoked a standard rule of constitutional construction: Facing “serious doubt of constitutionality,” the Court would ask “whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided.” And such a construction was indeed available. The statute authorizing appeals did not expressly say that the agency’s findings on “fundamental or jurisdiction fact” was to be final. Rather, it allowed the court to set aside agency decisions if they were not “in accordance with law.” According to Hughes, “the statute is open to the construction that the court in determining whether a compensation order is in accordance with law may...
- For some reason—perhaps because of the tension the repair was placing on the cable—a tackle used on the barge to hoist tugboats out of the water fell and severely injured Knudsen’s leg. Knudsen filed a claim under the federal Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, a standard workers’ compensation statute enacted by Congress just a few months earlier, after several Supreme Court decisions made it clear that states could not apply their workers’ compensation acts to injuries to maritime workers. The Supreme Court used Knudsen’s case to uphold the new statute, but only by construing it to require that some of the factual determinations made by the agency administering the compensation system be reviewed de novo—that is, without any deference to the agency’s judgment—by the federal trial court hearing appeals from an employer.
- ’s sense after 1937, with modern understandings of when fundamental rights do indeed turn on factual determinations, seems entirely defensible, and precisely in the terms Hughes used: fear that people would lose their fundamental rights by being put through the maw of a bureaucracy concerned with its substantive mission but not with fundamental rights. Consider, for example, the fact that in all the discussion after September 11, 2001, of the limits of federal court review of administrative determinations that certain individuals were “unlawful combatants,” no one openly defended the view that the federal courts lacked the power to review de novo a contested administrative decision that a particular individual was not an American citizen. The reason is that everyone agreed with ’s sense, and the Constitution did indeed require that it be determined by the courts.
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- Publication Date: October 5th, 2009
- ISBN: 9781599413839
- Subject: Federal Courts
- Series: Law Stories
- Type: Overviews
- Description: The stories in Jackson and Resnik's Federal Courts Stories touch on the behind-the-scenes history, economics, politics, and law involved in various legal opinions, making this a valuable supplement to any federal courts casebook.