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.


Jurisdiction; Treaty.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
In its discussion of federal question jurisdiction, the Fifth Circuit began by analyzing the plaintiff's complaint under the well-pleaded complaint rule.
However, under the doctrine of "complete preemption" or "displacing preemption," a state court case may be removed on the basis of federal question jurisdiction if the federal statute completely displaces any state law causes of action and therefore leaves room only for federal law.
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.
1) Yet, section 1331 is not nearly as encompassing--or as potent--in its grant of federal question jurisdiction to federal courts as its language suggests.
304) Congress amended the federal question jurisdiction statute three times after 1948, most recently in 1980.
To answer this question, we must look to the purposes of federal question jurisdiction.
1) If the corporate defendant cannot establish diversity jurisdiction, however, the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation of the federal question jurisdiction statute and its strict application of the well-pleaded complaint rule make the task of keeping the case in federal court nearly impossible.
Moreover, prison litigation, which in the federal courts tends to be based on federal question jurisdiction, is unrelated to CAFA's more business-oriented purposes and should be largely unaffected by the legislation.
180 (1921), the Court held that a federal district court could exercise federal question jurisdiction if it "appears from the [complaint] that the right to relief depends upon the construction or application of [federal law].
58) The court of appeals explained that state privilege laws do not apply in cases based on federal question jurisdiction.
1991), the probate exception applies only to statutory diversity jurisdiction, not to federal question jurisdiction.

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