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Separation of Powers & the Limits on the Federal Judicial Power

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How does Article III of the Constitution relate the justiciability and the limits on federal judicial power?

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This solution discusses how Article III of the Constitution relates to the justiciability and the limits on federal judicial power.

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Erwin Chemerinsky, Constitutional Law, Aspen Publishers, Inc. 2001.
Generally, justiciability and federal jurisdiction deals with the separation of federal powers and the limits on the federal judicial power. Article III simply deals with the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as well as what the federal courts are allowed to hear.

Justiciability limits are judicially created limits on the matters that can be heard in federal courts. These limits could be Constitutional (which Congress cannot override by §) and Prudential (which can be overridden by Congress by §). These limits were designed to ensure the separation of powers and the efficiency and conservation of judicial resources. There are five major doctrines that must be met for any federal court to hear a case.

First there is a prohibition against advisory opinions. Federal courts cannot issue advisory opinions and three must be an actual dispute between the litigants. Finally, there must be a substantial likelihood that a decision will bring about some change or have some effect. See Plaut v. Spendthrift, 514 U.S. 211 (1995) (where the Supreme Court said that Congress cannot allow cases to be reopened. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort).

Secondly, the person who brings the claim must have standing. The Court has said that the standing is the most important requirement. There are Constitutional requirements: 1) the plaintiff must allege that he/she has suffered or imminently will suffer an injury, 2) the plaintiff must allege that the injury was traceable to the defendant's conduct, 3) the plaintiff must allege that a favorable federal court decision is likely to redress the injury (this goes with the prohibition against advisory opinions requirement because remember that if the Court is not able to fix the injury then it is just advice). There are also Prudential requirements: 1) A party may generally only assert his/her own right and cannot raise the claims of third parties before the Court (there are exceptions to this such as if there is a close relationship [child/parent] then you can raise the rights of other), 2) there needs to be a logical link between person and ...

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