Section Description Provided by Instructor
This course introduces the structure and operation of the U.S. federal courts. It examines how they work, and also what their work is supposed to be. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction constrained by constitutional law, statutory law, and judicial policymaking. But they are also institutions of tremendous power and authority. That is, they are courts of equitable discretion, simultaneously powerful yet restrained. This course will acquaint you with the structures and doctrines that control what the Constitution calls 'the judicial power of the United States.' The course will survey major issues such as the separation of powers and the role of state law and state courts in the federal system, but the primary focus will be on the procedures and remedies involved in federal court claims against government officials at the national, state, and local levels.