Debs and the Federal Equity Jurisdiction
39 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2021 Last revised: 2 May 2022
Date Written: May 2, 2022
For two centuries, common lawyers have talked about a “cause of action.” But “cause of action” is not an organizing principle for equity. This Article shows how a plaintiff gets into equity, and it explains that equity is shaped by the interplay of its remedial, procedural, and substantive law. Equity is adjectival, that is, it modifies law rather than the other way around. Its power comes from remedies, not rights. And for getting into equity, what is central is a grievance. To insist on an equitable cause of action is to work a fundamental change in how a plaintiff gets into equity.
Keywords: equity, federal courts, remedies
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