Protecting Constitutional Freedoms: A Role for Federal Courts

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

Chapter 2 Openmig the Federal Courthouse Doors

Over 100 years ago Salmon P. Chase, the chief justice of the United States, observed that "the Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states."1 This observation captures the essential characteristic of the continuing American experiment with federalism. We have a dual system of government, and one of the fundamental issues in our development has been, and continues to be, the relationship between the two indestructible components of that system. Indeed, much of our constitutional history has involved a struggle to find a proper distribution of power between the states and the central government.

Today it is taken for granted that a feature of our federalism is the existence of a dual judicial system. Each state has a court system, usually composed of trial courts, intermediate appellate courts, and a supreme court. So too, the federal government has a similarly structured judicial system: trial courts (called district courts), intermediate appellate courts (known as courts of appeal), and, of course, a highest court, the Supreme Court. The story told in the following chapters concerns the allocation of power between the state and federal courts in cases involving constitutional challenges to conduct by states and local officials. Should federal courts be open to hear such cases? Or, should such cases be confined to the state courts? This story involves an

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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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