Federal Question

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Federal Question

An issue directly involving the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, or treaties between the United States and a foreign country.

Application of these kinds of law to particular cases or interpretation of the meanings of these laws is a power within the authority of the federal courts. The authority to hear lawsuits that turn on a point of federal law is called federal question jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1331 (1993), U.S. district courts "shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Unlike federal jurisdiction based upon Diversity of Citizenship under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332 (Supp. 2003), federal question jurisdiction is not dependent on the parties meeting a prescribed amount in controversy.

Cross-references

Jurisdiction; Treaty.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Federal question

n. one basis for filing a lawsuit in federal district court is that it is based on subjects enumerated in the U. S. Constitution or when a federal statute is involved. Thus, existence of such federal question gives the federal court jurisdiction.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(47) Federal courts have jurisdiction over actions arising under any Act of Congress regulating commerce, (48) and over actions "arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." (49) A case "arises under" federal law if federal law "creates the cause of action or that the plaintiffs right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law." (50) Thus, federal question jurisdiction can be based upon a state law that "necessarily turns on the construction of federal law." (51)
[section] 1331, the federal question jurisdiction statute.
[section] 1441(b), the foreign relations implications of the case are sufficient to establish federal question jurisdiction. (5)
Federal question jurisdiction. When a plaintiff files a case in state court claiming fraud on a federal agency--or even alleging facts that show fraud in the context of a different cause of action, the defendant may try to remove the case to federal court based on "federal question" jurisdiction under Buckman.
Disagreement among lower federal courts and a shifting majority on the Supreme Court nonetheless persisted concerning the relationship between the Swift doctrine, the expanded federal question jurisdiction, and their application to insurance, personal injury, and municipal bond debt litigation.
Constitution.(15) Article III specifically limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to enumerated circumstances.(16) The genesis of federal question jurisdiction lies in Article III's grant of power to the federal courts to hear cases "arising under" federal law.(17) As the Supreme Court has recognized, however, Article III's grant of power is "not self-executing."(18) With the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1875,(19) Congress granted the federal courts general federal question jurisdiction.
The action was then removed to this court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction. Jenkins, Mays, Coffey, Fox and the Commonwealth of Virginia have since moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6).
and therefore impliedly adopts the interpretation upon reenactment." (304) Congress amended the federal question jurisdiction statute three times after 1948, most recently in 1980.
One grant of original jurisdiction that appears on its face to apply to admiralty claims is the federal question jurisdiction ("civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States").158 Both the Constitution and the Admiralty Jurisdiction Statute expressly confer admiralty jurisdiction on the federal courts, but neither states the source of the governing admiralty law.
If state courts were understood as the primary fora for federal causes of action, with federal question jurisdiction created solely to address the problem of state courts' incompetent, hostile, or disuniform interpretation of federal law, one might argue that Congress limited federal courts' power to create procedural common law by the twin aims.
Ultimately, the Note concludes that just as with the Court's development of the well-pleaded complaint rule in the context of interpreting the federal question jurisdiction statute, practical concern over the expansion of the federal docket drove the Court's narrow reading of the federal officer removal statute.

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