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HLR - Junho de 2010

HLR - Junho de 2010

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1817
 VOLUME 123 JUNE 2010 NUMBER 8
©
2010
by The Harvard Law Review Association
 ARTICLES
THE ELEVENTH AMENDMENT ANDTHE NATURE OF THE UNION
Bradford R. Clark
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. I
NTRODUCTION
..................................................................................................................
1819
 
II. C
URRENT
 
T
HEORIES
 
OF
 
THE
 
E
LEVENTH
 
A
MENDMENT
......................................
1825
 
 A.
 
The Immunity Theory ....................................................................................................
1826
 
B.
 
The Diversity Theory ......................................................................................................
1830
 
C.
 
The Compromise Theory ................................................................................................
1832
 
D.
 
The Inadequacy of Current Theories ............................................................................
1835
 
III. T
HE
 
L
OST
 
H
ISTORICAL
 
C
ONTEXT
 
OF
 
THE
 
E
LEVENTH
 
A
MENDMENT
............
1838
 
 A.
 
The Articles of Confederation ........................................................................................
1839
 
B.
 
The Constitutional Convention .....................................................................................
1843
 
C.
 
The Ratification Debates ...............................................................................................
1853
 
D.
 
 Article III and State Suability .....................................................................................
1862
 
1.
 
State-Citizen Diversity Jurisdiction ........................................................................
1863
 
2.
 
Federal Question Jurisdiction ..................................................................................
1870
 
3.
 
Suits Between a State and Another State or a Foreign State .............................
1873
 
IV. T
HE
 
A
DOPTION
 
OF
 
THE
 
E
LEVENTH
 
A
MENDMENT
................................................
1875
 
 A.
 
The Chisholm Decision ..................................................................................................
1876
 
B.
 
The Aftermath of Chisholm ............................................................................................
1886
 
C.
 
The Adoption of the Eleventh Amendment ..................................................................
1891
 
V. T
HE
 
T
EXT
 
IN
 
H
ISTORICAL
 
C
ONTEXT
.........................................................................
1894
 
 A.
 
 An Explanatory Amendment .........................................................................................
1896
 
B.
 
 Reassessing the Article III Anomaly ............................................................................
1899
 
1.
 
Article III and the Eleventh Amendment in Historical Context. .........................
1900
 
2.
 
The Constitution. .......................................................................................................
1903
 
3.
 
The Laws of the United States. ................................................................................
1908
 
4.
 
Treaties. .......................................................................................................................
1909
 
VI. I
MPLICATIONS
 
FOR
 
M
ODERN
 
 J
URISPRUDENCE
........................................................
1911
 
VII. C
ONCLUSION
.......................................................................................................................
1917
 
 
1818
THE ELEVENTH AMENDMENT ANDTHE NATURE OF THE UNION
Bradford R. Clark
 
 Leading theories of the Eleventh Amendment start from the premise that its text makesno sense. These theories regard the Amendment as either underinclusive, overinclusive,or an incoherent compromise because it prohibits federal courts from hearing “any suit”against a state by out-of-state citizens, but does not prohibit suits against a state by itsown citizens. Two of these theories would either expand or contract the immunityconferred by the text of the Amendment in order to avoid this absurd or anomalous result. This Article suggests that the Eleventh Amendment made sense as written when understood in its full historical context. In particular, the Articles of Confederationempowered Congress to require states to supply men, money, and supplies, but gaveCongress no power to enforce its own commands. Prominent Founders initially arguedthat the only way to fix the Articles was to give Congress coercive power over states.But the Convention and the ratifiers ultimately rejected this idea because they fearedthat the introduction of such power would lead to a civil war.To avoid this danger, the Founders designed the Constitution to give Congress legislative power over individuals rather than states. This novel approach eliminated the need for coercive power over states, and provided Federalists with a key argument for adoptingthe Constitution rather than amending the Articles. Antifederalists threatened to undermine this case for the Constitution by arguing that the state-citizen diversity provisions of Article III — authorizing suits “between” states and out-of-state citizens — could be construed to permit suits against states (and thus imply federal power toenforce any resulting judgments against states). Although Federalists denied thisconstruction, the Supreme Court proceeded to read Article III to permit out-of-statecitizens to sue states. Federalists and Antifederalists quickly joined forces to restoretheir preferred construction of Article III. In adopting the Eleventh Amendment, theysaw no anomaly in prohibiting “any suit” against a state by out-of-state citizens becausethey did not understand the Constitution to authorize any suits against states by in-statecitizens. Federal question jurisdiction did not expressly authorize such suits, and theFounders likely would not have perceived any real need for such jurisdiction given their  understanding that the Constitution conferred neither legislative nor coercive power over states. Because the Eleventh Amendment, as written, made sense in light of the natureof the Union, the absurdity doctrine cannot justify departing from the terms of the Amendment.
 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 
 
 
William Cranch Research Professor of Law, The George Washington University LawSchool. For insightful comments, I thank A.J. Bellia, Curtis Bradley, Evan Caminker, AndyCoan, Dick Fallon, Philip Hamburger, Joan Larsen, John Manning, Maeva Marcus, Jon Molot,Henry Monaghan, Jim Pfander, Jeff Powell, Gil Seinfeld, Jon Siegel, Jeff Sutton, Ed Swaine,Amanda Tyler, Carlos Vázquez, and workshop participants at the George Washington, Michigan,Northwestern, and Notre Dame Law Schools. I also thank Jonathan Bond, John Kammerer, Ja-son Karasik, Max Kosman, Brittany Lewis-Roberts, Ryan Watson, Brian Wesoloski, and WilliamZapf for excellent research assistance.
 
2010
]
 
THE ELEVENTH AMENDMENT 
 
1819
 
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed toextend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted againstone of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
1
 I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
 eading theories of the Eleventh Amendment place surprisingly lit-tle emphasis on the words of the Amendment. In fact, accordingto one prominent observer, “the [E]leventh [A]mendment is universallytaken
not
to mean what it says.”
2
The reason is that most courts andcommentators regard the Amendment as either grossly under- or over-inclusive. In their view, the best way to understand and apply theAmendment is to look past its terms to its underlying purpose (as theydefine it). Modern theorists feel justified in expanding or contractingthe immunity conferred by the text because they believe that followingthe Amendment as written would produce the anomalous — or evenabsurd — result of barring out-of-state citizens from suing states infederal court while leaving in-state citizens free to do so. As a result,leading theories of the Amendment tend to focus on why the Amend-ment cannot mean what it says.This Article offers a novel account of why the Eleventh Amend-ment made sense at the time it was adopted and simultaneously pro-vides insight into the Founders’ understanding of the nature of theUnion. The Articles of Confederation authorized Congress to exerciselegislative power over states rather than individuals, but provided nomeans of enforcement. The Founders concluded that the Articlescould be made effective only by authorizing Congress to employ coer-cive military force against states who refused to comply with its affir-mative commands. The Founders rejected proposals to introducecoercive force, however, because they feared that the use of such pow-er would lead to a civil war. They abandoned the Articles in favor of a Constitution specifically designed to authorize Congress to exerciselegislative power solely over individuals rather than states. This ap-proach obviated the need for the introduction of coercive power overstates. To be sure, the Constitution imposed important negative pro-hibitions on states, but these provisions could be enforced in suits be-tween individuals or as federal defenses to enforcement actionsbrought by states. Thus, enforcing these prohibitions did not necessi-tate either suits by individuals against states or the use of coercivepower against states.
 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 
 
1
 
U.S.
 
C
ONST
.
 
amend. XI.
2
 
Martha A. Field,
The Eleventh Amendment and Other Sovereign Immunity Doctrines: PartOne
,
126
U.
 
P
A
.
 
L.
 
R
EV
.
 
515
,
516
(
1977
).
L

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