Federal Courts

This course has a deceptively simple title. It examines, in some detail, the jurisdiction of the federal courts, addressing the constitutional and statutory provisions, as well as the judicially-created doctrines, that shape and limit the role that federal courts play in our system of government. In doing so, it pays particular attention to issues implicating the separation of powers and federalism, and it explores contending visions of the role federal courts should play in American society. The course balances doctrinal analysis with normative debate over the direction in which the law ought to move, and also introduces students to empirical analyses of the operation and efficacy of the federal courts. The course proceeds by focusing on selected topics, each of considerable complexity, including some of the following: the nature of the federal judicial function, standing and justiciability doctrines, congressional control of federal court jurisdiction, Supreme Court review of state court decisions, habeas corpus, the relationship between state and federal law, federal common law, the federal question jurisdiction of the federal district courts, judicial abstention doctrines and the power of federal courts to enjoin state court proceedings, suits challenging official government action, and sovereign immunity. The primary emphasis of the course will be on developing a critical analysis of the vision behind and wisdom of current jurisdictional doctrines, although we will focus to a lesser extent on aspects of litigation and litigation strategy.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11:30 am - 12:20 pm TNH 3.142
Exam Type Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/6/09 8:30 am A-Z
2.123

Additional Information

Course Type

Faculty

Lindquist, Stefanie A Lindquist, Stefanie A