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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001




University of Minnesota




Modern federal courts scholars have been fascinated by the question of Congress' power to control the jurisdiction of the federal courts.' This fascination is not difficult to explain: the question is theoretically profound and raises fundamental issues about the roles of Congress and the federal courts in the constitutional order.2 As a practical matter, however, the question has proven to be of limited significance. Despite a recent spate of legislation restricting access to courts by prisoners and immigrants,3 people talk about wholesale jurisdiction-stripping far more than they actually do it.

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