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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Congressional Authority over the Federal Judicial Docket

In the First Ku Klux Klan Act, Congress provided that actions brought to enforce Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment "shall take precedence of all other cases on the docket of the court to which it is made returnable, and shall not be continued unless for cause proved to the satisfaction of the court." 

Here's my question for civ pro and federal court folks out there. How often has Congress done this? Are there any current examples?

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on November 19, 2020 at 01:11 PM | Permalink


That is the largest legal authority in a country, right? Please share with me at https://puzzle-jigsaw.com

Posted by: puzzle jisaw | Nov 27, 2020 4:20:13 AM

The Natural Gas Act provides, 15 U.S.C. 717r(d)(5) for challenges to state agencies granting, denying, or conditioning federally required permits for interstate natural-gas facilities:

"The Court shall set any action brought under this subsection for expedited consideration."


Posted by: Sean M. | Nov 23, 2020 11:18:23 AM

Not quite "top of the queue," but federal habeas timelines are surprisingly quick by statute (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/2243). Most courts (that I've seen) treat the Rules Governing Section 2254 cases as effectively saying, "Take however long you want," though. Weinstein wrote about the issue when he was clearing the EDNY's habeas backlog (216 F.R.D. 52 (E.D.N.Y. 2003)).

Posted by: Thomas Frampton | Nov 20, 2020 10:09:35 AM

Thanks for these references.

Posted by: Gerard | Nov 19, 2020 7:08:01 PM

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

(4) Upon a motion by the person who files a petition under this subsection, the appropriate court shall assign the matter for hearing at the earliest possible date and shall expedite the matter in every possible way.


Posted by: James Valvo | Nov 19, 2020 4:42:40 PM

The Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act provided that for

"any action is brought for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge the constitutionality of any provision of this Act ... It shall be the duty of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of the action and appeal."


Posted by: Will Baude | Nov 19, 2020 3:51:32 PM

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