Federal Courts | L4250

This is an advanced public law course that examines the role of the federal courts in our constitutional system. It focuses on the federal courts’ role and power in relation to the other branches of the national government (separation of powers) and in relation to state and local governments (federalism). Specific topics include: the organic judicial powers of the federal judiciary, including Article III’s Case or Controversy requirement; congressional power to restrict or expand federal jurisdiction, the Supreme Court’s power to review state court rulings on federal law by direct appeal and on collateral review (habeas corpus), federal question jurisdiction, federal civil rights law under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and many of the doctrines that limit federal judicial power to provide remedies to parties whose federal constitutional and civil rights have been violated, including official immunity, state sovereign immunity, and the abstention doctrines.

It is highly recommended for students interested in pursuing federal judicial clerkships and/or careers in federal civil rights litigation, government representation, or other federal litigation.

Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 3

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