Federal Courts


Course Code:
LAW 2403
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Formerly Law 283) This course considers the role of the federal courts in the federal system. It is both an advanced course in constitutional law and a course on the institutional design of the federal courts. On the first, we consider two great themes: the allocation of power between the states and the federal government — federalism — and the relationship between the federal courts and the political branches of the national government — separation of powers. On the second, we focus on the structure of the judicial system, the scope and limits of federal judicial power, essential aspects of federal court procedure, and the evolving structural response of the federal courts to changes in technology, commerce, government, and a multitude of factors that affect the business of the federal courts and the role of federal judges. Topics may include the original and appellate jurisdiction of the federal courts, Supreme Court review of state court judgments, federal common law including implied rights of action, Congressional power to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts and to create adjudicative bodies within the federal government but outside the requirements of Article III, state sovereign immunity, justiciability, abstention and other doctrines of restraint, and the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism. This course is highly recommended for students planning to practice in the federal courts, and many judges consider it essential preparation for a judicial clerkship. This course complements Constitutional Litigation (Law 641/Law 7011), and students, especially those who plan to clerk, will benefit from taking both courses. Elements used in grading: Class Participation, Exam.

Current Offerings

2017-2018 Autumn

Federal Courts LAW 2403 Section 01 Class #19674

  • 4 Units

Notes: In-class Final.

    • Details to come
  • Tue Thu
  • Room: Law190

Past Offerings

2016-2017 Spring

Federal Courts LAW 2403 Section 01 Class #32839

  • 4 Units

Notes: In-class Final.

    • In-class Final
    • Self Scheduled
  • Room: Room 190
  • @

2015-2016 Autumn

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