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A case is Justiciable, and can be heard by a Federal Court when . . .
- Live controversy (not moot)
- Not a political question
When does π have Standing?
- Injury: Personal non-ideological harm
- Causation and Redressability: court can remedy harm caused by ∆
- No TP standing: All πs before court have personally suffered injuries
- No generalized grievances: Suit not solely as "citizen" or "taxpayer"
When may a π bring suit on behalf of a TP?
- Close relationship: Key is whether π can adequately represent interest of injured party
- Injury party unlike to assert rights: unless π does so on injured party's behalf
- Organizational standing: (i) members would have standing, (ii) interests germane to org's purpose, (iii) neither the claim nor relief requires participation of individual members
Ripeness: Can court grant pre-enforcement review? Must show . . .
- Hardship w/o pre-enforcement review
- Fitness of issues for judicial review
- Adequate record
When is a case not moot (i.e., "live")?
- 1) Live controversy (π still injured after filing lawsuit)
- 2) Non-frivolous money damages
- 3) Injury is repetitive and evades judicial review
- 4) ∆ voluntarily ceases (possible to resume harm in future)
- 5) Class action suits—not moot so long as ONE member of the class has
- an ongoing injury.
Non-justiciable political question?
- Guarantee of republican form of government
- Challenge to President's foreign policy
- Challenge to impeachment and removal
- Challenge to partisan gerrymandering
When can the Supreme Court hear a case?
- 1) Case is justiciable
- 2) Writ of cert from state court, US Courts of Appeals, 3-Judge Panel of Federal District Court, and suits between states
- 3) Final judgment from appropriate court
- 3) If coming from state court, no independent & adequate state law ground for decision (Example, in a state court decision resting on two grounds, one on state law the other on federal law, if the SC's reversal of the federal law ground would not change the result in the case, the Court cannot hear it)
Generally, can a lower federal court hear a suit against a state government?
- NO. Generally, a lower federal court can't hear a suit against a state government. |
- Note: State governments include state-level agencies, but do not include local governments (e.g., cities towns) or individual officials (even at the state-level)
When can a state be sued in a lower federal court?
- Express waiver
- Suit is under law adopted under section 5 of the 14th Amendment
- When the Fed. Govt is the plaintiff suing the state
- Bankruptcy proceedings
Are suits against state-level officials allowed?
- Yes, if suit is for injunctive relief; or money damages to be paid out of officer’s own pockets.
- BUT not ok if state treasury will be paying retroactive damages.
Can a federal court enjoin a pending state court proceeding?
No. A federal court cannot enjoin a pending state court proceeding.
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