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The Embattled Constitution$
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Norman Dorsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770122

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770122.001.0001

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Federal and State Courts

Federal and State Courts

Restoring a Workable Balance

(p.37) 2 Federal and State Courts
The Embattled Constitution

Guido Calabresi

NYU Press

This chapter examines aspects of federal jurisdiction, including diversity cases and the gnawing problems of state action, in hopes of striking a workable balance between federal and state courts. In particular, it discusses four pillars of federal-state court relations: federal violations—federal actors violating federal rights—were tried in the lower federal courts; criminal law; most private law in traditional common law areas, such as torts and contracts, was in state courts; state violations—that is, state actors allegedly violating federal rights. It argues that three—those involving criminal law, private law, and state violations—are currently in crisis, if not crumbling, and offers some suggestions for reasserting or reconstructing them.

Keywords:   federal jurisdiction, diversity, state action, federal courts, state courts, federal violations, federal rights, criminal law, private law, state violations

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