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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW Prof. Krotoszinski The Judicial Function Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison (p. 26)– established the power of the Supreme Court to review acts of Congress. Ex parte McCardle (p. 39)– Congress has the power to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. United States v. Klein (p. 41)– any jurisdictional limitation must be neutral; Congress may not decide the merits of a case under the guise of limiting jurisdiction. Jurisdiction of Federal Courts Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (p. 45)– The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over the highest state courts on issues involving the federal Constitution, laws, and treaties. Federal statutes limit SC review to decisions of the highest state court available. Michigan v. Long (p. 52) – A state court opinion that ostensibly relies on federal law but that expressly states that it rests on separate, adequate and independent state grounds precludes US SC review. Eleventh Amendment: Ex parte Young – A suit challenging the constitutionality of a state official’s action is not one against the state. This is known as the “stripping” doctrine and allows parties suing in federal court to force officials to comply with federal statutes. However, it does not extend to actions for retroactive relief if the plaintiff seeks payment of state funds for past violations of state law. Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman (p. 59) – A federal court may not award injunctive relief against state officials on the basis of state law. The 11 th Amendment was intended to make it clear that sovereign immunity limits the Article III grant of judicial authority. Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (p. 69) – The 11 th Amendment prevents Congress from authorizing suits by Indian tribes against states for prospective injunctive relief to enforce legislation enacted pursuant to the Indian Commerce Clause. Only the state itself, not its subdivisions, such as counties and cities, are protected by the 11 th Amendment. The 11 th Amendment also does not bar federal suits by one state against another, or by the federal government against a state. The 11 th Amendment essentially bars only suits for damages, and not most suits for injunctions. Non-constitutional restrictions on federal court injunctions against unconstitutional state laws: Abstention – allows state courts to construe ambiguous state law. Federal court must first decide whether challenged state action violated state law. Pennhurst requires that a federal court limit injunctive relief to claims based on federal law. The “ Pullman doctrine” allows or requires the federal court to withhold action, pending commencement of a state court action to resolve the issues of state law.
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Justiciability Requirement: Limits on federal court decisions: Cases and controversies (Art. III, section 2) – federal courts must deal only with real and substantial disputes that affect the legal rights and obligations of parties having adverse
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