Thursday, January 19, 2012
Mims and jurisdictional clarity
Lost in the anger over yesterday's opinion in Golan was the Court's brief unanimous opinion in Mims v. Arrow Fin. Servs., in which the Court held that the creation of a private federal statutory cause of action against telemarketers making robocalls, with explicit allowance to bring such actions in state court, did not divest federal courts of jurisdiction over the same claims under § 1331. There is some good stuff in the opinion, particularly in providing some further guidance for what "arising under" means at the core--when "federal law creates the right of action and provides the rule of decision". It also establishes parallelism in the concept of concurrent jurisdiction. There is a presumption that state courts have concurrent jurisdiction over federal claims unless Congress otherwise explicitly provides for exclusive jurisdiction.The converse presumption also holds: because § 1331 grants federal jurisdiction over any claims established by federal law, there is a presumption of federal jurisdiction over any federal right of action, unless Congress explicitly provides otherwise.
This decision also could help the courts in future jurisdiction/merits conflicts. When Congress creates a right and right of action, jurisdiction automatically vests under § 1331. It should follow that any defects in a claim under that federal statute do not affect the court's jurisdiction and instead go to the merits.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mims and jurisdictional clarity:
The comments to this entry are closed.