Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For Monday

Wednesday audio.

We will continue with Younger and the question we left off on--what about the concern, raised in Huffman, that civil actions only provide one avenue into a federal forum rather than two? Aside from the exceptions to Younger, when else can a plaintiff get around abstention? Read the O'Keefe decision as an example of possibly confused analysis of such cases. Please read all the cases with care, with a particular focus on the procedural posture of each.

Be ready to discuss the following hypo:

A number of sexually explicit text messages and photos of three minor high-school girls are found on the phones of a number of male students. The DA threatens to charge all of them with possession or distribution of child pornography, unless they all agree to probation and participation in an informal education/adjustment program, which would instruct them about why their conduct was wrong. The three girls refuse the deal and bring a claim in federal court, seeking to enjoin criminal prosecution, claiming that it would violate the First Amendment to prosecute them or to force them into the program.

Must the federal court abstain? What can the prosecutor do to force abstention?

We then will move to Colorado River Abstention, so please prepare that section (Ryan and JC are on panel for that).

Monday, October 27, 2014

For Wednesday

Monday audio. Commentaries on General Abstention/Pullman are due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.

We will begin with the question of the other requirement for anti-tax injunction acts beyond that the payment be a tax.

We then turn to Younger, starting with Younger itself and the basics and background. What is the connection between Younger and § 2283? What is the point of Mitchum (decided one year after Younger)?

We will begin discussing Younger Abstention: Extension, so read that full section. In particular, focus on Sprint (SCOTUS's most recent statement on Younger) and how it narrows Younger's reach. Note how Younger comes into play in Miranda. Finally, read the short decision in O'Keefe and consider whether the Court's Younger/§ 2283 analysis makes sense.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Supreme Court goes to the dogs

John Oliver (of HBO) explains here.

And below is the entire oral argument in last term's Hobby Lobby case.

So, in preparation for our oral arguments: You must decide what kind of dog you are.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Eleventh Amendment in action

This lawsuit, filed today, alleges that the NCAA violates the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying student-athletes (who, it alleges, are akin to work-study students). Named defendants are the NCAA and every Division I school, (including FIU); the suit seeks unpaid wages and an injunction requiring student-athletes to be paid going forward. The FLSA is a Commerce Clause enactment.

Any problems jump out at you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Standing Commentaries

Here, here, here, and here. Have at it.


Here is the Complaint in a pending in the Southern District of Florida raising some relevant issues under § 2283, as well as Skelly Oil (and § 1331). Review it for next week.

For Monday

Wednesday audio. Ripeness/Mootness commentaries are due Monday; Pullman commentaries due next Wednesday.

We will continue with § 2283, starting with ACL--could the federal court grant the injunction and why or why not? If not, what should the Union have done to avail itself of the Supreme Court's decision. What does this tell us about the difference between judgments and precedents? In addition to the statutes listed in the syllabus, look at § 1341 (in App. B), § 7421 (discussed in the materials on the Affordable Care Act), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (also in App. B, the statute at issue in Mitchum).

Then go ahead and read Younger Background. How does Younger interact with § 2283? What is the point of Mitchum (decided one year after Younger)?

Monday, October 20, 2014

For Wednesday

Monday audio. Commentaries on Mootness/Ripeness are due at the beginning of class next Monday.

We will continue discussing Pullman Abstention. What was the problem with the claim in Pullman? What happens if a court abstains under Pullman? Is this postponement or abdication? What are the limits on abstention? How does certification fit into the mix?

We then will discuss Statutory Abstention/§ 2283. Read the statute carefully and try to understand each of the three exceptions. Please look at 28 U.S.C. § 1341 (the state Tax-Injunction Act) and the material on the federal Tax Injunction Act and the Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

For Monday

Wednesday audio. Standing commentaries are due at the beginning of class on Monday.

Here is the Eleventh Amendment case we discussed today, holding that a plaintiff can make an Ex Parte Young claim for reinstatement.

We will continue with Mootness, beginning with Honig--what new prudential limitation did Justice Rehnquist urge? And how does Justice Scalia view the Art. III/Prudential line with respect to capable-of-repetition? How does mootness apply when the defending party voluntarily changes its behavior, especially the government? If a case becomes moot during the appeals process, what happens to the lower-court decision(s)? Finally, consider the following situation:

Pap's A.M. is bar featuring nude dancing. It challenges an ordinance in state court prohibiting such activities, arguing it violates the First Amendment; the state trial court agrees and enjoins enforcement of the law, a judgment affirmed by the state supreme court. SCOTUS grants cert.; while the case is pending, the owner of Pap's A.M. moves to dismiss the case, stating (in an affidavit) that he has put the bar up for sale, no longer wishes to have nude dancing there, and no longer wishes to challenge the ordinance. Moot?

We then turn to Abstention and Related Doctrines, another way that the federal courts (with a bit of help from Congress) have limited their own roles. Read General Principles, which sets out the general ideas underlying abstention, and Pullman Abstention, which will be the first of our doctrines.