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Federal Court Access Issues in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003-2004 Term

By Gill Deford, Jane Perkins, Gary F. Smith & Matthew Diller

The U.S. Supreme Court's–2004 rulings on federal court access were often buried in decisions better known for their substantive holdings. This term the Court upheld the power of the federal government against state claims of sovereign immunity; potentially narrowed the already limited access to federal court of plaintiffs whose federal claims are intertwined with "the realm of domestic relations" and narrowed the scope of agency inaction subject to challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court also addressed the deference to Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the statute of limitations for civil actions arising under an act of Congress, the standard of review of a preliminary injunction, mandamus, and Equal Access to Justice Act attorney fees.

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