Protecting Constitutional Freedoms: A Role for Federal Courts

By Daan Braveman; Paul L. Murphy | Go to book overview

Chapter 6 Rules of Preclusion

The developments discussed in the previous chapters close the federal courts and force victims of alleged unconstitutional state action into state courts. In some instances the door-closing impact is direct. In a case like Warth, for example, the federal court lacks power to hear the case because the plaintiff does not have standing to sue.1 Similarly, if the federal court concludes that Younger and its notions of Our Federalism apply to a case, the litigant must turn to the state courts.2 The federal court in those instances lacks power to grant the requested relief. When the Eleventh Amendment applies, the individual is again completely barred from obtaining relief in a federal court and must proceed, if at all, in state court.3 So too, in cases like Parratt, the Court has redefined the constitutional right in such a way as to leave the individual no remedy other than a lawsuit in state court based on state law.4

In other instances the door closing is accomplished indirectly. Prior to a lawsuit it may not be clear whether the individual would be barred from the federal forum. The plaintiffs in Warth, for example, believed that they had satisfied the standing requirements, and four justices agreed. After the Warth decision, however, a victim of allegedly unconstitutional practices would have to assess the likelihood that resources may have to be spent in federal court on litigating the threshold question of standing.

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Protecting Constitutional Freedoms: A Role for Federal Courts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Legal Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 1
  • Notes 9
  • Chapter 2- Openmig the Federal Courthouse Doors 11
  • Notes 49
  • Chapter 3- Crossing the Threshold 57
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter 4- Our Federalism And Injunctions 79
  • Notes 98
  • Chapter 5- Damages 101
  • Notes 131
  • Chapter 6- Rules of Preclusion 135
  • Notes 157
  • Chapter 7- Institutional Character 165
  • Notes 188
  • Bibliography 193
  • Index 201
  • About the Author 207
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