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24 Cards in this Set

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lix. Congress’s power to authorize suits against state governments
How can you get the State to respect your constitutional rights? Whats a problem with that remedy?
1. The idea is that threatening the State w/ damages, then maybe the State will think twice in violating your federal rights. 2. The problem is that States have sovereign immunity. a. “You cannot sue the state for monetary damages no matter what they do.” b. Can use as: i. Limitation on our individual rights ii. This is also a limitation on federal power. iii. Reveals the vagaries of the constitutional jurisprudence. iv. Case study of congress’s powers under section 5. c. 3 questions i. where does this sovereign immunity come from? ii. What is the scope of the state sovereign immunity? iii. When can you or congress override state sovereign immunity?
Which article gives states soverign immunity?
11th Amendment 1. The Amendment has the fact pattern of Chism (Chisolm)—citizens from one State suing a different State.
What is state soverign immunity?
a. Sovereign immunity blocks suits for monetary damages brought against a state by any private party—from same state or different. Whether that suit is based on state or federal law, and whether that suit is brought in state court or federal court.
What does the state soverign immunity clause state? (11th amendment)
The Judicial Power of the United States [or any one of the United States, Alden v. Maine,] shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity [no matter the basis of jurisdiction, Jumel,] commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of [the same state, Hans or] another state or by [foreign states, Monaco, or] citizens or subjects or any foreign state.
What is a summary of state soverign immunity? Who can (and cant) sue who?
• No citizen may sue a state in federal court. But a local citizen may have imunity. • You can sue a local government as long as it is not an arm of the state. A private citizen may also sue an official of the state govemrent. As long as the damages are paid out of the pocket of the official. • United state agency may bring a suit against a state. • Another state may misue a state. • A foreign state may not sue a foreign government. • State soverign immunity also applies to state courts. Federal govt can commandeer state governments.
Why might the current congress want to dismiss state soverign immunity?
• Tension between congress and president. Congress may want to hold the president liable for violation of statutory rights.
A sues California in federal court, seeking monetary damages |||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: Yes. Even on the text of the 11th amendment. [yes, since citizens of another state]
B sues California in federal court, seeking monetary damages |||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: Yes. [no since own stat is being sued.]
A sues California in a California state court, seeking monetary damages|||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: Yes. Does not matter if it is state or federal court. [Maine] [maybe not, since 11th amendnt says that US that Main says state courts are prohibited as well]
A sues City of Sacramento in federal court, seeking monetary damages |||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: No, b/c the city of Sac does not have state immunity. They are not recognized in the Constitution. They are not state government—or arms of the state (affiliated so closely w/ the state).
A sues Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, in federal court, seeking an injunction (for reinstatement) and monetary damages (for back pay) |||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: Not the injunction. The Court said you can go ahead and sue a state official and issue an injunction against that state official. This not for monetary damages. The strange thing is that if you sue an official for monetary damages, this is okay. If the damages are paid out of pocket from the state official, that is fine. A state may compensate a state official. So in those circumstances where a state isn’t paying a state official. Ex parte Young b. Can’t sue state of California, you can sue the employees of the state. You can clearly sue a state official for an injunction. Ex Parte Young. You can do this so long as the damages are not paied by the states. State officials have qualified immunity. If you sue state officials and you seek the private wealth of the officials, the only way that you can win that suit is by showing that this is a really egregious violation of the constitution
As a policy matter, is state sovereign immunity a good idea?
You might say that it limits your vindication of interests and rights of citizens or private individuals. On the other hand, state could be forced to pay monetary damages, and take away from their programs. It would force the states to pay for federal priorities. Therefore this state sovereign immunity is good for federalism. You might say that people may be eager to sue the states since they have a lot of money. So let the federal government pursue these suits on behalf of individuals
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), a federal administrative agency, sues California on behalf of A in federal court, seeking monetary damages and / or reinstatement|||| Problems: barred by state sovereign immunity A is a citizen of Arkansas, B is a citizen of California. Assume both parties have meritorious claims for violation of federal labor law – say, for example, both were fired from state jobs because of gender. Absent a waiver or abrogation of state immunity, which of the following suits, if any, is barred by the Eleventh Amendment?
a. ANSWER: Not barred. This is a suit not brought by an individual, private party. It is brought by a public entity. It means if you have some grievance against the state, your alternative is to petition some federal administrative agency. They will decide whether or not to take up their complaint on their own. It’s a suit by the federal government against the state. The federal government can then turn around and give any monetary compensation.
What does state sovereign immunity not block suits from?
a. A suit against a local government. b. Against the federal government. c. Against a state official. d. State governments can sue one another.
A State may also WAIVE its sovereign immunity, but why?
a. A political explanation is to say that the state is not above the law. b. Rather than have the federal government who has more resources, it would be best to have private individuals bring suits. c. The federal government can also influence the states under its Spending power. i. If you take the federal money, then you have to waive your right. ii. The only limitation is that the waiver has to be explicit to what suits it’s waiving.
Congress also has the power to override state sovereign immunity under..?
under §5 of the 14th Amendment.
What was Seminole Tribe a violation of? The statute tried to give tribes some gaming by negotiating w/ state government. The act imposes a duty upon the state to negotiate in good faith. It authorizes the tribe to sue the state to force negotiation.
a. This is a violation of New York, anti-commandeering. You can’t impose a duty on States. 2. Since the 11th Amendment came after Art I, the Amendment restricts the Commerce Clause (Art I) from being used as a way for Congress to abrogate state sovereign immunity. a. But the 14th came after the 11th.
In order for Congress to abrogate state sovereign immunity, it must ______ to do so—________, and have a _______ (under §__ of the ___th) to abrogate such immunity.
In order for Congress to abrogate state sovereign immunity, it must INTEND to do so—CLEAR LEGISLATIVE STATEMENT, and have a VALID EXERCISE OF POWER (under §5 of the 14th) to abrogate such immunity.
In Florida Prepaid, what was the problem with the congressional act: 1. Facts: college savings bank gets patent on new financial technique for financing a college government. State of Florida gets the same and violates the patent. 2. Patent infringement Act (abrogating SSI for patent infringement) cannot be sustained under Art I (CC or patent clause). Seminole.
4. Problem w/ congressional Act a. The Court would give Congress leeway if there were so many violations, that Congress had to come down hard and use prophylactic legislation. i. Congressional findings could show these findings—this is where they come in. b. No remedial legislation b/c it is not proportionate and congruent to the rights violations. i. This patent remedy act would seem to prohibit a lot if things that are not under the 14th Amend. – exceeds congress’s power. 1. Prophylatic: You would need that there was a widespread pattern of constitutional abuses going on at state level for prophylactic legislation. 2. 14th amendment: Congress did not do its procedures to show that there were processes that would satisfy the 14th amendment. 3. The State has violated the 14th Amend under deprivation of property w/out Due Process. a. However, the Court finds very few violations of this kind.
in Kimel, why did the statute fail? Statute: 1. The congressional Act prohibited states from engaging in age discrimination.
2. Age discrimination fall under rational basis test a. Under this test, the State may discriminate and not be in violation of the 14th as long as it has a legitimate interest. 3. The ADEA is not appropriate legislation under §5 of the 14th a. ADEA prohibits lots of state activity that is constitutional. i. Congress is trying to redefine rights in contravention to Boerne. ii. Most of these cases will NOT involve 14th Amendment violations. 1. The Court says that only a small number of 14th Amendment violations are occurring. b. There is a lack of evidence showing “widespread and unconstitutional age discrimination by the states” i. Sometimes rampant violation by the States is important b/c it starts to look more like proportional and congruent.
In Garrett (“ADA prohibiting disability discrimination”) why did the statute fail? Statute: 1. The congressional Act prohibited states from engaging in age discrimination.
1. Congress may either pass remedial legislation that has a narrow approach, or prophylactic legislation to prevent and deter widespread violations. 2. Violation: equal protection. All they have to do is provide a rational basis for their action. 3. The Court states that it is up to the Court to determine 14th Amendment rights violations. a. §5 violations have to have legislation that is congruent and proportional to meet that end. i. It is a matter of degree (how much discrimination?) ii. If it is remedial legislation, then it has to be limited to application to rights violations. iii. If it is prophylactic legislation, it may be in response to evidence that there is rampant rights violations. 4. Although there may be rampant discrimination, if it is mostly private discrimination, this may not be used to abrogate state sovereign immunity by using prophylactic legislation. a. Congressional findings need to show widespread discrimination done by the States. 5. Disability discrimination falls under rational basis scrutiny a. Even if the State discriminates, if it has a rational basis for doing so, then the State is not in violation of the 14th Amendment.
In Hibbs (“man was fired after taking leave”) [ABROGATION SSI, EXAMPLE], how did the statute SUCCEED? Statute: 1. Hibbs took leave to take care of his wife who became ill.
1. Hibbs took leave to take care of his wife who became ill. 2. Gender discrimination is subject to heightened/intermediate scrutiny. a. For gender-based discrimination done by a state to w/stand intermediate scrutiny, the “governmental objectives” must be “substantially related to the achievement of those objectives.” 3. Looking at the long extended history of sex discrimination, the Court finds a persistent pattern of these constitutional violations by the States; therefore, Congress can pass preventive §5 legislation. a. Congressional findings show i. 15 states gave women maternity leave ii. A lot of companies allowed women to take time off but not men. 1. Scalia in dissent says that b/c a few states have engaged in gender discrimination, all states are being held liable. 4. Preventive legislation to allow suits against the states. a. Congress is trying to weed out these stereotypes, prevent future injustices. b. Prophylactic legislation c. What does the law gives? i. The law is narrow in scope. It is unpaid leave.
How did Tennessee v. Lane {ABROGATION, EXAMPLE]'s statute abrogate state immunity? Statute: Facts: Title II of the Americans w/ Disabilities Act of 1990 provides that no qualified individual w/ a disability shall be “denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” Respondent who uses a wheelchair to get around, had problems gaining access to a number of courthouses b/c of his disability. He says he lost work and an opportunity to participate in the judicial process.
3. What is the 14th Amendment right that the Congress is enforcing? a. The Due Process claim, that every individual has a constitutional right to appear at that criminal proceeding against you. b. The state must have a really compelling reason to deny a person access to the courtroom. 4. Why does this Act pass the congruence and proportionality test? a. Congress has tried a lot of steps to alleviate this discrimination; and so Congress should be given a little bit more leeway to root out these violations. b. There is widespread violations i. 76% of public services, in buildings, are inaccessible to people who have disabilities. c. Congress’s remedy is fairly limited i. All that you have to do is give a reasonable accommodation by the States; this is in line w/ congruence and proportionality, not demanding too much of the states.