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Anthony J. Bellia

Common Law

Federal courts

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State Courts And The Making Of Federal Common Law, Anthony J. Bellia Oct 2013

State Courts And The Making Of Federal Common Law, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

The authority of federal courts to make federal common law has been a controversial question for courts and scholars. Several scholars have propounded theories addressing primarily whether and when federal courts are justified in making federal common law. It is a little-noticed phenomenon that state courts, too, make federal common law. This Article brings to light the fact that state courts routinely make federal common law in as real a sense as federal courts make it. It further explains that theories that focus on whether the making of federal common law by federal courts is justified are inadequate to explain …