Federal Courts

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED 10:30 - 11:37 am TNH 2.140

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final exam December 13, 2024


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).   

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Federal Courts And The Law Of Federal-state Relati *
Bradley, Curtis, Grove, Tara, Jeffries, Jr., John, and Low, Peter
West Academic , edition: 10
ISBN: 978-1-68561-085-2


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