Federal Courts

The Enforcement Act of 1870, Federal Jurisdiction Over Election Contests, And The Political Question Doctrine

Michael T. Morley

Abstract A lingering provision of a major Reconstruction Era law, theEnforcement Act of 1870, 28 U.S.C. § 1344, grants federal courtsjurisdiction over election contests arising from alleged FifteenthAmendment violations, except for the positions of presidential elector,member of Congress, and state legislator. Some courts have erroneouslyconstrued this provision as categorically denying the federal judiciarysubject-matter jurisdiction over […]

The Territorial Reach of Federal Courts

A. Benjamin Spencer

Abstract Federal courts exercise the sovereign authority of the United States when they assert personal jurisdiction over a defendant. As components of the national sovereign, federal courts’ maximum territorial reach is determined by the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which permits jurisdiction over persons with sufficient minimum contacts with the United States and over property […]

No Right to Counsel, No Access Without: The Poor Child’s Unconstitutional Catch-22

Lisa V. Martin

Abstract In the midst of the push for universal access to counsel in civil cases and the increasing proportion of litigants who represent themselves, a critical barrier to access to justice for children has been overlooked. Federal courts have created a catch-22 for child litigants. Children cannot bring claims themselves, so parents must bring the […]

A “Procedural Nightmare”: Dueling Courts and the Application of the First-Filed Rule

Written by: Andrew J. Fuller

Abstract Pretend that Party A sues Party B in Court 1. Instead of countersuing, however, B then sues A in Court 2. The problem this Note examines is whether Court 1 may enjoin B from continuing to litigate in Court 2 if Court 2 has already declined to stay the case or transfer it to […]

John F. Preis, How the Federal Cause of Action Relates to Rights, Remedies, and Jurisdiction

Time and again, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that the federal cause of action is “analytically distinct” from rights, remedies, and jurisdiction. Yet, just pages away in the U.S. Reports are other cases in which rights, remedies, and jurisdiction all hinge on the existence of a cause of action. What, then, is the proper […]

Jason Rantanen & Lee Petherbridge, Ph.D., Disuniformity

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a response to a failure in judicial administration that produced a fractured, unworkable patent law—one that Congress concluded ill-served entrepreneurship and innovation. The purpose of the response—vesting exclusive jurisdiction for patent appeals in the Federal Circuit—was to permit that court to develop patent law […]