This course is a study of the role of the federal courts in the operation of the federal system. This is an advanced course in public law, judicial administration, and constitutional and civil rights litigation. The course will cover the following topics: the power of Congress to regulate the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts; the case or controversy requirement; federal question jurisdiction, including special attention to problems of constitutional litigation against the states and abstention doctrines; doctrines of sovereign and individual immunity; choice of law in the federal courts and federal common law; Supreme Court review of state court judgments; and federal habeas corpus.
Materials: Fallon, Manning, Meltzer & Shapiro, Hart & Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System (6th ed. 2009) and 2012 Supplement.
Pre-requisite: Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment; students who have not completed that pre-requisite may enroll only with the permission of the instructor.