The course considers the structure and powers of the federal courts and their relationship to the state courts. The topics covered include justiciability, congressional authority to define and limit federal court jurisdiction, federal common law and implied rights of action, the application of state law in federal courts under the Erie doctrine, civil rights actions and immunities of state officials and governments, and habeas corpus. The focus of the course is on structural constitutional considerations relating to both the separation of powers between the three branches of the national government as well as the federalism relationship between the national government and the state governments.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.
Federal Courts is a prerequisite for the following courses: