Professors Seinfeld and Whitman:
An intensive and critical examination of the role of federal courts in maintaining a constitutional order in the United States. Among the topics considered are justiciability, the power of Congress to control the jurisdiction of federal and state courts, Supreme Court review of state court decisions, federal habeas corpus for state prisoners, and suits challenging official action.
The focus of this course is the operation of the federal court system. The course is taught with an eye for the federal-courts jurisprudence that is most important to practitioners and includes examples and advice derived from the professor's experience as a federal trial and appellate judge. The course will cover not only the usual bases of federal court jurisdiction, such as federal question, diversity and removal, but also other doctrines that impact federal courts, including standing, ripeness, mootness, abstention and state sovereign immunity. Significant attention will be focused on federal litigation under section 1983 of the Civil Rights Acts, which is the statute used to remedy most violations of the Constitution and federal statutes.
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