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Spring 2023 Course

Federal Courts and the Federal System

Prerequisite: For JD students, this course is open to those who have taken, or are concurrently taking, Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and the Fourteenth Amendment, or have completed the required 1L Constitutional Law offering, as this requires some knowledge of substantive constitutional law. For LLM students, instructor permission is required to enroll in this course.

Exam type:Any-Day Take-Home

This course studies the role of the federal courts in the federal system and their relationship to the state courts. Topics include the power of Congress to regulate the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts; federal question jurisdiction; Supreme Court review of state court judgments; federal common law; sovereign and official immunity doctrines; abstention and related limitations on federal courts jurisdiction; and federal habeas corpus.

The casebook is Richard H. Fallon, Jr., et al. Hart & Wechsler’s The Federal Courts and the Federal System, the most recent available edition, together with the Supplement (if any) most recent to the book. Chapters from Federal Courts Stories (Jackson & Resnik eds. 2010) will also be assigned.