The Story of Ex Parte Young: Once Controversial, Now Canon
Federal Courts Stories, Forthcoming
27 Pages Posted: 22 May 2009
Date Written: May 18, 2009
This is a chapter in the forthcoming federal courts stories. Ex parte Young is a central part of the federal courts canon, yet the underlying historical details are little known or understood. This is unfortunate. Many cases in the canon are contested by advocates of greater or lesser federal court intervention. Ex parte Young, however, is bedrock, almost universally admired across the ideological spectrum. At the time, though, this decision opening the doors to federal court was widely condemned by progressives who disdained judicial involvement in economic legislation. The Story of Ex Parte Young tells of the cases’ origins in Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, shedding light on how we should understand this now widely-accepted decision.
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