The Federal Courts and Congress: Additional Sources, Alternative Texts and Altered Aspirations
Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 86, No. 7, July 1998
Posted: 18 Feb 1999
This essay is part of a symposium on contemporary relations between Congress and the Federal Courts. Professor Resnik suggests that commentators interested in congressional authority over federal court jurisdiction need to move beyond the sources often cited in such areas, the text of Article III and the case law specifically about jurisdictional provisions and remedial limitations. She proposes consideration of additional areas of law (such as judicial authority over civil case management, including the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, and judicial response to congressional creation of causes of action, such as "Lujan" and "Prinz"), as well as review of exchanges between the courts and Congress that occur through proposed legislation, testimony, and materials like "judicial impact statements," the Chief Justice's annual "state of the judiciary" addresses, and documents such as the 1995 "Long Range Plan of the Federal Courts", approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States. Upon consideration of this broader set of materials, Professor Resnik joins with other commentators (including the introduction by Professor Vicki Jackson) to suggest that the courts and the Congress have many areas of agreement as well as tensions, that the current leadership of both institutions support a limited number of life-tenured judges, delegation of decisionmaking to non-life tenured "federal judges" such as magistrate and bankruptcy judges, and limitations on federal judicial power.
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