- Semester: Fall 2023
- Course ID: 486
- Credit Hours: 4
- Grading Method: Pass/Fail Not Allowed
- Will use floating mean GPA if applicable
- Upperclass-only elective
|MON, TUE, WED||10:30 - 11:37 am|
|Take-home up to 8 hrs||December 12, 2023|
Federal Courts is an essential practical tool for future litigators, future government attorneys (at the federal, state, or local level), and future judicial law clerks. It is also a genuinely exciting field of academic study for any law student.
This course investigates one of the most fascinating and often misunderstood features of American law: how our legal system distributes power within the federal government and between the federal government and the states. The course also explores whether (and how) individual litigants can turn to the judiciary to enforce rights created by constitutional or statutory law. These fundamental questions are related. Principles that shape and limit the power of federal courts determine not just how but whether those courts (rather than other participants in our system of government) can resolve disputes, ranging from the relatively mundane to the gravest allegations of injustice.
These issues raise questions about the role that the federal courts play in our constitutional democracy. Such issues are of utmost importance today. Many pressing questions—from the scope of presidential power to the conduct of local police—wind up in federal court. And these disputes often turn on legal issues that we will explore in this course.
The assigned case book is the tenth edition of Low & Jeffries' The Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (2022).