The Line Between Federal and State Court Jurisdiction

From the beginning of this nation, there have been controversies involving the division of jurisdiction between federal and state courts. Often, these controversies have centered on the diversity of citizenship provision of the federal constitution. Today, however, the more poignant question is whether any division of jurisdiction between the federal and state systems retains logical bases.

Although myriad developments have relevancy with respect to this question, I have here focused upon two of the more important ones: the increasing overlap of subject matter being litigated in federal and state courts and the growing uniformity of standards to be applied in the decision-making process under recent Supreme Court decisions. In the light of these developments, certain proposals for unifying our judicial system and the advantages to be gained from such changes may properly be considered.