Judicial Federalism, Civil Law, and the New Forum Shopping
The popular consciousness is overwhelmed with an image of the law in the criminal mode. Police shows on television, action movies about terrorism, courtroom novels by former lawyers, televised actual criminal trials, and day-to- day newspaper and television news shows are generally subsumed with justice as punishment or retribution.1 In a similar manner, as described in chapter 2, the dialogue about rights in the United States is overly concentrated on the rights of the criminal defendant. This is certainly understandable as the consequences of criminal trials can range from significant loss of liberty to ritual death by execution. The stakes are usually higher and thus the dramatic potential is greater.
A more balanced view of the life of the law in the United States would be far different. Self-governancerequires not only a regime of legal rules but a pervasive respect for these rules that govern social relations. Remedies for evils in a society are just as likely, and in many cases more likely, to flow from civil actions than____________________