In his lecture titled, “Whose Courts are They? Federal Courts in an Age of Federalism,” Fletcher will address a recurring and unanswered question among scholars of the federal courts: What constitutional obligation does Congress have to confer jurisdiction on the federal courts? Variations of the question are: Must Congress confer jurisdiction on the federal courts over all cases involving questions of federal law, or may it leave some cases involving questions of federal law to the state courts? Justice Joseph Story had an answer, based on his reading of the word "all" in Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution, but Fletcher disagrees with Story, based on his reading of the same word.
Fletcher was sworn in as United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit on February 1, 1999. He was a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley from 1977 to 1999, retiring from the Boalt Hall faculty as the Richard W. Jennings Jr., Professor of Law. He is a scholar of the federal courts and jurisdiction and civil procedure, and is the author of numerous works in those subject areas, including Pleading and Procedure: State and Federal (9th ed., Foundation Press, 2005, with Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Colin C. Tait, and Stephen McG. Bundy). A graduate of Yale Law School, Fletcher clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr., of the United States Supreme Court.
This event is free and open to the public. Duke Law School is located at the corner of Towerview Road and Science Drive on Duke’s West Campus. Parking is available at the Bryan Center. Lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, with a dessert reception to follow the lecture.
The annual Brainerd Currie Memorial Lecture honors the late Duke Law scholar Brainerd Currie. It will be webcast live.
For more information, contact Frances Presma at (919) 613-724.