Professor Andy Hessick publishes paper titled “Cases, Controversies, and Diversity” on February 24, 2014.
Article III’s diversity jurisdiction provisions extend the federal judicial power to state-law controversies between different states or nations and their respective citizens. When exercising diversity jurisdiction, the federal judiciary does not function in its usual role of protecting federal interests or ensuring the uniformity of federal law. Instead, federal courts operate as alternative state courts for resolving disputes between diverse parties. But federal courts often cannot act as alternative forums to state courts because of Article III justiciability doctrines such as standing, ripeness, and mootness. These doctrines define when a federal court may act. But they do not apply to state courts, and states have developed their own justiciability doctrines that substantially diverge from the federal ones. The consequence is that federal courts sitting in diversity cannot hear many claims that can be brought in state court and can hear other claims that state courts lack the power to decide.