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College of Law

Federal Courts

Course Number: 6680
Professor: Jason A. Robison
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: TBA
Required: No
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: Civil Procedures I & II and Constitutional Law I & II

Course Overview: Every exercise of federal judicial power places a federal court in a position of possible conflict with another governmental actor. On one hand, a federal court might intrude on the Congress’s constitutional lawmaking powers; on the other, it might usurp a function that could be performed by a state court. This course examines these two structural matters of separation of powers and federalism by scrutinizing the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Encompassed within the course are justiciability doctrines (standing, ripeness, and mootness), congressional power to control federal court jurisdiction, constitutional and statutory parameters of federal question jurisdiction, federal common law, basic contours of litigation under 42 U.S.C. 1983, state sovereign immunity and the Eleventh Amendment, and various abstention doctrines.

Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Course Format: Lecture and class discussion
Written Assignments: n/a
Type of Exam: Open-book final exam at the end of the semester.
Basis for Grading Student Performance: Exam and class participation.
Other Comments:

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