ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
JDizzle2015
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:16 pm

ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:54 pm

Picked up the Constitution because I haven't read it since high school and was stumped by the 11th Amendment.

"The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."

Doesn't that mean federal courts' power cannot be extended to a law suit brought by a citizen of one state on another state? (Even though, it is my understanding, that's the exact opposite of what the 11th Amendment did...)

What am I missing here? I'm in trouble for law school.

User avatar
JDizzle2015
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:01 pm

Lol sach, ninja'd me.

I was thinking the same thing but the specification of "foreign" in the last part makes me think States in the first part is referring to domestic states.

User avatar
sach1282
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:50 pm

Re: ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

Postby sach1282 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:04 pm

Haha, sorry. I didn't want to end up being wrong and having the hive mind crucify me. I agree with you both on the initial conclusion and the doubts, I had the same train of thought.

sidhesadie
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

Postby sidhesadie » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:06 pm

It's sovereign immunity for the state. Federal court's power extends to a citizen of one state suing a citizen of another state...that's diversity jurisdiction...that isn't what this is talking about, it's talking about suing the state itself. That immunity can be abrogated (like when a state allows suit against it for certain torts)... You can't use federal courts to sue a state, because the state is sovereign (again, with some exceptions)
I'm oversimplifying so I'm sure someone might come along and use more words.

Is that what you're asking?

User avatar
JDizzle2015
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: ITT: Explain the 11th Amendment to me

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:15 pm

sidhesadie wrote:It's sovereign immunity for the state. Federal court's power extends to a citizen of one state suing a citizen of another state...that's diversity jurisdiction...that isn't what this is talking about, it's talking about suing the state itself. That immunity can be abrogated (like when a state allows suit against it for certain torts)... You can't use federal courts to sue a state, because the state is sovereign (again, with some exceptions)
I'm oversimplifying so I'm sure someone might come along and use more words.

Is that what you're asking?

Yes, perfect! That's very helpful.

I was confused because I thought there were federal court cases where X person was suing Y state. So you're saying that they can sue only when the state they are suing have given up parts of their immunity?

(Thanks for the explanation!)




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot], Justtrying2help, Monday and 7 guests