Federal Jurisdiction /Practice

Academic Year

This course examines the proper role of the federal courts in the American political system. The ability of a litigant to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts is regulated by a variety of constitutional, statutory and judge-made doctrines. As such, we will explore such topics as: the case or controversy limitations contained in Article III, advanced topics in subject matter, diversity and supplemental jurisdiction, the availability of habeas corpus review, state sovereignty and the Eleventh Amendment, the abstention doctrines, the power of federal courts to create common law, removal actions, and 42 U.S.C.'1983 and Bivens civil rights actions. Exploring the themes of federalism and separation of powers addressed in the basic Constitutional Law course, this course at its core examines the power of Congress to allocate judicial power among the federal courts, federal agencies and States. This course should prove to be particularly valuable to students who anticipate clerking for a federal or state judge, who plan to litigate before federal and state courts, or who are planning for a public interest or public sector career.