Jurisdiction in the Trump Era
14 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018 Last revised: 3 Oct 2018
Date Written: February 23, 2018
The next four years — and perhaps beyond — are likely to solidify two recent trends in jurisdictional doctrine favoring defense interests. First, the narrowing of personal jurisdiction has given defendants more opportunities to secure home-state advantage and, as an ancillary matter, hinder plaintiff-friendly aggregation. This narrowing is likely to continue in light of President Trump’s judicial appointments and the disinclination of Congress and rulemakers to expand personal jurisdiction in federal court. Second, recent expansions of diversity jurisdiction allow defendants to invoke favorable federal procedures and interstate venue transfer. Despite longstanding calls to reduce the scope of diversity jurisdiction, Congress is trending in the opposite direction, with new bills to expand defendants’ ability to invoke federal court. Interestingly, however, these trends of narrowing personal jurisdiction and expanding diversity jurisdiction began before Trump’s election. As a result, these trends mark an entrenchment of, rather than a new turn to, defense-centric jurisdiction.
Keywords: Personal Jurisdiction, Diversity, Trump
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