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One Supreme CourtSupremacy, Inferiority, and the Judicial Department of the United States$
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James E. Pfander

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340334.001.0001

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The Problematics of Federal Jurisdiction

The Problematics of Federal Jurisdiction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Problematics of Federal Jurisdiction
Source:
One Supreme Court
Author(s):

JAMES E. PFANDER

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340334.003.001

We have grown accustomed to the pyramidal shape of the federal judiciary, with one Supreme Court presiding over a mixed bag of lower state and federal tribunals. But the Court's own decisions and the work of scholars have raised profound questions about the constitutional rules that govern the various levels of the federal judicial hierarchy. To what extent can Congress entrust federal judicial business to non-Article III decision makers? To what extent can Congress free those tribunals from the duty to faithfully apply the precedents of the Supreme Court? To what extent can Congress displace the unifying and settling functions of the Court through restrictions on its appellate jurisdiction? This chapter explores the terms of the academic debate in some detail as a prelude to suggesting a common solution.

Keywords:   Supreme Court, constitution rules, Article III, state courts, federal judiciary

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