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Full-Text Articles in Law

Abstaining Equitably, Fred O. Smith Jr. Jun 2022

Abstaining Equitably, Fred O. Smith Jr.

Notre Dame Law Review

The doctrine of Younger abstention—which counsels federal courts not to interrupt ongoing state criminal proceedings—balances dueling considerations. On the one hand, the doctrine preserves federal courts’ ability to exercise Congressionally conferred, properly invoked jurisdiction to prevent irreparable violations of the federal constitution. On the other, the doctrine provides space for autonomous state courts to carry out their traditional role in the realm of criminal justice. This Essay identifies four central features of the Younger doctrine that maintain this balance. By protecting these features, federal courts can ensure that Younger remains a doctrine of equitable restraint, instead of inequitable abdication.

First, …


Acid Rain: Detoxifying Diversity Jurisdiction’S Poisonous Cycle, Baerett Nelson, Gavyn Roedel Apr 2022

Acid Rain: Detoxifying Diversity Jurisdiction’S Poisonous Cycle, Baerett Nelson, Gavyn Roedel

Brigham Young University Prelaw Review

Diversity jurisdiction authorizes federal courts to act as impartial tribunals over certain matters of state law. To preserve states' judicial sovereignty, the US Supreme Court has prohibited diversity courts from directly interpreting state law, holding that federal courts must "predict" the legal outcome as if a state court had adjudicated. However, litigant abuse hinders consistency in legal outcomes. Discrepancies between courts spur forum shopping, which cyclically generates more legal incongruence. This paper identifies a "toxic cycle" plaguing diversity jurisdiction and offers five prescriptions which courts and Congress must use to reverse it.