Monday, April 07, 2008

Prof. Floyd Publishes Article on Supplemental Jurisdiction

Professor C. Douglass Floyd recently published an Article entitled Three Faces of Supplemental Jurisdiction after United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 60 Fl. L. Rev. 277 (April 2008). Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

In a post-Gibbs world, therefore, three competing views of the permissible scope of federal subject matter jurisdiction over non-diverse state law claims have emerged. First, a “delegation” model, which reads the Constitution to have delegated to Congress an apparently unrestricted power to define the scope of an Article III case or controversy, provided at least one claim in the action falls within the scope of Article III. Second, a “factual relationship” model, which seeks to give more precise content to Gibbs's “common nucleus of operative fact” standard and to distinguish it from the “same transaction or occurrence” joinder standard of the Federal Rules. And third, a “necessary and proper” model, which restrains Congress's ability to authorize the joinder of jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional claims based, not on the nature of the factual or transactional relationship among the claims to be joined, but rather on whether such joinder is necessary and proper to achieve the purposes underlying the enumerated heads of federal jurisdiction set out in Article III.

This Article addresses each of these theories in turn and concludes that the first two approaches to the supplemental-jurisdiction question in a world unencumbered by the Gibbs standard (to the extent that Gibbs is not constitutionally based) are subject to serious objections and should be rejected. Rather, the post-Gibbs contours of federal jurisdiction are properly defined by referring to the purposes underlying the limited grants of federal subject matter jurisdiction contained in Article III. In some instances, such as permissive counterclaims, this model would permit their assertion--even those seeking affirmative relief--absent any transactional or factual relationship with the plaintiff's main claims. In other instances, it would reject supplemental jurisdiction even though a transactional or factual relationship exists.


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