Relations between the Federal and State Courts

By Mitchell Wendell | Go to book overview

PART V
CONCURRENT JURISDICTION

Introductory Note

IN the preceding parts of this study, we have been concerned with the frictions arising out of the existence of separate systems of federal and state courts. Of course, competition between judiciaries has never been the avowed object of either national or state governments, but the course of events has produced such rivalry and has made it necessary for courts and legislatures to find ways to minimize the competition.

There is, however, a more positive side to our judicial federalism. It is often possible for national and state governments to take advantage of the increased judicial facilities resulting from the existence of separate systems of federal and state courts, and, by cooperation in law enforcement, to produce an improved brand of judicial service for the people of the entire country. The problems of intergovernmental law enforcement are many and an exhaustive study of them is beyond the scope of the present work. However, any analysis of our dual judicial system would be incomplete without a recognition of the problems and opportunities presented by the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction by federal and state courts. The following analysis is offered in the hope that it may lead the reader to an understanding of some of the basic problems raised by concurrent jurisdiction. If this part of the study raises more questions than it answers, it is because the subject has received all too little attention. It is hoped that the few remarks possible here will at least serve to clarify the nature of some of the problems.

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