Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Not Sexy, but Significant

SCOTUS will hear an 11th Amendment case (which deals with sovereign immunity) that could potentially affect the enforceability of civil rights laws against government officials.

Texas Solicitor General Rafael E. Cruz argues to the high court that federal courts cannot enforce provisions of a state-signed consent decree that go beyond the requirements of the federal law involved.

Federalism and separation of powers, he said, "ensure that federal courts cannot do what the district court has attempted, to use a consent decree to take over a state program and dictate its daily operation, freed in equity from the constraints of federal law."

It's a little confusing, but it basically seems what Texas is trying to argue is that the 11th Amendment prevents the courts from enforcing an agreement that the state has freely entered into.

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