Skip to content

Martha A. Field, The Eleventh Amendment and Other Sovereign Immunity Doctrines, 126 U. Pa. L. Rev. 515 (1978).

Abstract: This article is the second of a series collectively entitled The Eleventh Amendment and Other Sovereign Immunity Doctrines. The first article surveyed the historical context in which the eleventh amendment was adopted, and took the position that the Constitution does not impose the sovereign immunity doctrine; sovereign immunity is a common law doctrine, and is not constitutionally compelled. The present article addresses congressional power to override state immunity. It first sets out the case law on the subject and then discusses alternate theories supporting congressional power to impose suit upon the states. It also treats the interpretive functions of the federal courts in the sovereign immunity area. The final article will discuss questions respecting the kinds of relief that are available from state defendants.