Federal Judicial System Flashcards Preview

MBE Constitutional Law > Federal Judicial System > Flashcards

Flashcards in Federal Judicial System Deck (33)
Loading flashcards...
1
Q

Under Article III, Section 2, federal courts have the jurisdiction to hear which types of cases and controversies?

A
  1. Arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States;
  2. Affecting foreign countries’ ambassadors, public ministers, and consuls;
  3. Involving admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;
  4. When the U.S. is a party;
  5. Between two or more states, or between a state and citizens of another state;
  6. Between citizens of different states or between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states; or
  7. Between a state, or its citizens, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects
2
Q

The Supreme Court has what two types of jurisdiction?

A
  1. Original jurisdiction; and
  2. Appellate jurisdiction
3
Q

Over what type of cases does the Supreme Court have original jurisdiction?

From where is this power derived?

A

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases…

  1. Involving ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; and
  2. Those in which a state is a party

The source of the power: Article III, section 2

4
Q

Can Congress modify the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction?

A

No, but it can grant concurrent original jurisdiction to the lower federal courts

5
Q

What are the 2 ways for Supreme Court to hear an appellate case?

A
  1. Writ of Certiorari (discretionary review): Court will grant review if at least 4 justices vote to accept
  2. Mandatory appeal: appeals for injunctive decisions issued by three-judge district court panels
6
Q

Define

**adequate **and independent state grounds doctrine

A

Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a state court decision that is supported by adequate and independent state grounds.

Adequate and independent means that the state law grounds fully resolve the matter (adequate) and must not incorporate a federal standard by reference (independent).

7
Q

What can the Supreme Court do if it is unclear whether a decision rests on independent and adequate state grounds?

A

Hear the federal issue and remand the state issue to state courts

8
Q

What is the exception to the adequate and independent state grounds doctrine?

A

SCOTUS will review a state court’s decision if the state law tracks federal law and the state court has a practice of following the federal interpretations of the particular law

9
Q

True or False: SCOTUS will only correct a state court judgment if the state court incorrectly applied federal rights

A

True

10
Q

Define

sovereign immunity

A

doctrine that holds the government cannot be sued for damages without its consent

11
Q

What does the 11th Amendment prohibit?

A

An individual suing any state in federal court without that state’s consent.

Also known as state sovereign immunity.

See more: 11th Amendment

12
Q

What are the exceptions to the 11th Amendment?

A

Lawsuits against states are allowed if:

  1. State has consented;
  2. Suit is for prospective relief (injunctive) against a state officer;
  3. United States or another State is the plaintiff;
  4. Suit involves enforcement of laws under ​the violations of 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and Congress has expressly removed immunity
13
Q

Does the 11th Amendment prohibit claims against a state official personally for money damages?

A

No

14
Q

Does the 11th Amendment prohibit recovery of retroactive money damages by citizens against a state agency?

A

Yes

15
Q

Does the 11th Amendment prohibit lawsuits against local governments?

A

No, only against states

16
Q

Does the 11th Amendment prohibit bankruptcy proceedings?

A

No

17
Q

Does the 11th Amendment prohibit the federal government from suing a state?

A

No, only private individuals

18
Q

Requirements for a case to be justiciable (i.e. can be heard by the federal courts)

A
  1. Standing;
  2. Ripeness;
  3. Mootness; and
  4. Not a political question
19
Q

Elements required for standing

A
  1. Injury-in-fact: P must show a concrete and particularized injury, actual or imminent, caused by alleged action;
  2. Causation: D’s conduct must have caused the claimant’s injury;
  3. Redressibility: Harm must be one the Court can remedy through their resolution of the case;
20
Q

Does a taxpayer have standing to bring a lawsuit to challenge general government spending?

A

No, unless lawsuit is to challenge government expenditures violative of the Establishment Clause

21
Q

When may a litigant have standing to assert the rights of a third party not before the court?

A

A third party may have standing to assert the rights of the aggrieved party if the Court finds…

  1. There is a special relationship between P and the injured party (e.g. doctor-patient, lawyer-client, parent-child), and the injured party finds it difficult to bring suit themselves; or
  2. Associational standing: an association may have standing to bring suit if any one of its members would have standing, and the issue is germane to the association’s purpose.
  3. First Amendment overbreadth: third party may bring a facial challenge, as long as Article III standing still exists.
22
Q

Do organizations have standing to sue?

A

Only if:

  1. At least one member of the organization would have standing to sue;
  2. Interest asserted is germaine to purpose of the organization; and
  3. Neither claim nor relief requires individual participation of members
23
Q

Define

ripeness

A

A claim is “ripe,” when the facts of the case have matured into an existing substantial controversy warranting judicial intervention.

Source: Ripeness

24
Q

Why are courts required to hear only ripe claims?

A

Because federal courts are not allowed to issue advisory opinions; must be faced with a real or imminent harm

⚠️ Watch out for questions on declaratory judgments (allowed) vs. advisory opinions (not allowed)

25
Q

Define

mootness

A

A case is moot when the controversy is resolved and there is no longer a live issue.

26
Q

What are the exceptions to the mootness requirement?

A
  1. Capable of repetition yet evading review: although P’s particular injury will likely become moot before litigation is complete, it is highly likely injury will be repeated in the future (ex. Roe v. Wade and abortions);
  2. Voluntary cessation: D voluntarily ceases behavior once litigation starts, but could resume at any time; or
  3. Class action: As long as one member of class has a ripe claim, resolution of one P’s injury will not defeat mootness
27
Q

Define

political questions

A

Issues that either:

  1. Other branches have the power to decide per the Constitution; or
  2. Are inherently incapable of judicial decision

⭐️ Federal courts will not hear cases involving political questions

28
Q

Examples of non-justiciable political questions?

A
  1. Impeachment procedure;
  2. Gerrymandering;
  3. Foreign policy & war;
  4. Guaranty clause;
  5. Amendment ratification procedure.
29
Q

Define

abstention doctrine

A

When federal courts temporarily abstain from hearing a case when there is an unsettled question of state law

30
Q

What are two scenarios in which federal courts will abstain from hearing a case?

A
  1. Case involves unsettled state law better left to state courts (Pullman abstention); or
  2. Federal courts typically decline family law cases (e.g. child custody, divorce), known as the Family Law Exception.
31
Q

Define

Younger Abstention Doctrine

A

Court will not enjoin a pending state criminal prosecution in the absence of extraordinary circumstances unless the danger of irreparable loss is both great and immediate.

32
Q

Who has the power to decide whether a state decision was made on state grounds or federal grounds?

A

SCOTUS may review the decision and make the determination

33
Q

What are judges immune/not immune from?

A

Immune: civil liability for judicial acts (including grave procedural errors)

Not immune: lawsuits involving non-judicial acts.