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Congress’ Power To Authorize Suits Against States Outline

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This is an extract of our Congress’ Power To Authorize Suits Against States document, which we sell as part of our Constitutional Outlines collection written by the top tier of U.C. Berkeley School Of Law (Boalt Hall) students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Constitutional Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Congress' Power to Authorize Suits Against States a) Chisholm v. Georgia (1793): merchant sells supplies to Georgia and Georgia fails to pay i) Held: a citizen of South Carolina can sue the State of Georgia. The Court held that supreme or sovereign power was retained by citizens themselves, not by the "artificial person" of the State of Georgia. ii) Reaction = adoption and ratification of the 11th amendment b) Hans v. Louisiana (1890): Hans filed suit to insure that his bonds were valid i) Held: 11th amendment invalidated citizens right to sue their own state. c) Debate about meaning of 11th amendment i) flatly prohibits federal court jurisdiction over all suits against states (the current view of the Court) ii) prevents only diversity jurisdiction, not federal questions jurisdiction d) Three ways around state sovereign immunity i) Pursuant to Ex Parte Young (1908) (railroad share holders sue attorney general of Minnesota to prevent his enforcing a law that regulatd railroad prices), state officers can still be sued for injunctive relief ii) States can waive their Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity iii) Pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress can abrogate state sovereign immunity and authorize private suits against the State e) Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer (1975) - Whether the CRA of 1972, which authorized suits against state governments for employment discrimination is a valid exercise of congressional authority under Section 5 of the 14th amendment. i) Held: Civil Rights Act of 1972 (authorized suits against state govt. for employment discrimination) is a valid exercise of congressional authority under Section 5 of 14th Amendment. (1)Section 5 essentially amended the 11th amendment (2)Congress can authorize suits against states via its Section 5 authority f) Pennsylvania v. Union Gas (1988) i) Plurality Held: Congress may abrogate sovereign immunity using its Commerce Clause Power g) Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1995) - Seminole Tribe brought suit against Florida for violating good faith negotations requirement of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

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