Rules of Decision Act


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Rules of Decision Act

The Rules of Decision Act, (28 U.S.C.A. § 1652 [1948]) provides that where the Constitution, treaties, or acts of Congress are inapplicable, the law of the state in which the federal court is sitting should apply to civil actions.

First enacted in 1789, the act is designed to discourage forum-shopping and to avoid the unfair administration of laws in cases heard by federal courts because of the Diversity of Citizenship of the parties. The landmark decision in erie railroad co. v. tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S. Ct. 817, 82 L. Ed. 1188 (1938), interpreted the Rules of Decision Act to include not only state statutes, but also controlling judicial decisions or state Common Law as constituting the laws of the state. Erie overruled swift v. tyson, 41 U.S. (16 Pet.) 1, 10 L. Ed. 865 (1842), which construed the Rules of Decision Act as not requiring federal courts to apply state common law in diversity cases.

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Part III introduces the Rules of Decision Act (RDA) (13) as the
THE RULES OF DECISION ACT AS A LIMITATION ON FEDERAL COMMON
The Rules of Decision Act has been the subject of renewed scholarly
Wasson, Jr., Resolving Separation of Powers and Federalism Problems Raised by Erie, the Rules of Decision Act, and the Rules Enabling Act: A Proposed Solution, 32 CAP.
The Supreme Court analyzed these cases under the Rules of Decision Act [123] and proposed a number of different tests and rationales to use in making this determination.
When no conflicting federal law exists, Hanna affirmed that the case must be decided under the Rules of Decision Act, and the opinion contains extensive dicta on how a federal court should then proceed.
By contrast, the Rules of Decision Act, which declares that "It]he laws of the several states, except where the Constitution or treaties of the United States or Acts of Congress otherwise require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in civil actions in the courts of the United States, in cases where they apply," (92) originated as section 34 of the Judiciary Act of 1789.
But I actually owe these insights about the Rules of Decision Act to Lee Liberman Otis, to whom I am grateful.
the Rules of Decision Act Blocks Supreme Federal Common Law, 83 NW.
interpretation of the federal Rules of Decision Act. The Rules of
Only the Rules of Decision Act escapes the sweep of Lawson's sweepingly narrow view of the Sweeping Clause, but only because Lawson thinks it "an exhortation rather than a regulation," being merely "declaratory" of what the Constitution requires in any event.
And I think I should be able to get them, because this time I've got Lawson dead to rights: His two key concessions--first, the nuclear alternatives of impeachment and nonexecution as constitutionally legitimate checks on the courts; and second, the legitimacy (or at least harmlessness) of the Rules of Decision Act as a statute declaratory of what should be understood as the proper constitutional rule in any event--give away the whole ballgame.