Fall 2020 • Course
Federal Courts and the Federal System
Prerequisites: For JD students, this course is open to those who have taken, or are concurrently taking, one of the two basic courses in Constitutional Law – Constitutional Law: First Amendment or Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment. For LLM students, instructor permission is required to enroll in this course.
Exam Type: Please refer to the Fall 2020 Tentative Exam Schedule
This course involves a study of the role of the federal courts in the operation of the federal system. Topics include: choice of law in the federal courts and the development of federal common law; the power of Congress to regulate jurisdiction; Supreme Court review of state court judgments; federal habeas corpus; and the federal question jurisdiction, including limitations on its exercise. Special attention will be given to various technical doctrines that frequently limit federal jurisdiction in constitutional litigation against states: the abstention and sovereign immunity doctrines and limitations on federal injunctions against state proceedings. Other topics concerning the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1983, will also be considered.