state court jurisdiction

In B.P. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-1 that a federal court of appeals may review any grounds the district court considered for trying to remove a case to federal court where one of the grounds was federal officer or civil rights removal.

The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an...

The issue in B.P. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore is whether a federal appellate court may review all the grounds upon which a defendant claims its case should not be sent back to state court when only one of the grounds the defendant alleges is specifically listed in federal statute as a basis for federal appellate court review. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed a Supreme Court...

This title isn’t inaccurate per se. It merely understates the highly technical and procedural nature of this case. In B.P. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore the Supreme Court will decide whether a federal appellate court may review all the grounds upon which a defendant claims its case should not be sent back to state court when only one of the grounds the defendant alleges is specifically listed in federal statute...

The Supreme Court held 5-4 in Artis v. District of Columbia that “tolled” under 28 U.S.C 1367(d) means suspended or that the clock is stopped. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief arguing in favor of a different definition of “tolled.” Justice Ginsburg cited to the SLLC brief once in her majority opinion. Justice Gorsuch cited to it or discussed it four times in his dissenting opinion.   

A year after the fact, Stephanie Artis sued the District of Columbia in federal district court bringing a number of federal and state law claims related to her termination as a health inspector. It took the federal court over two and a half years to rule on her claims. It dismissed her sole federal claim and declined to exercise jurisdiction over her remaining state law claims.

28 U.S.C 1367(d) states that statutes of limitations for state law claims pending in federal court shall be “tolled” for a period of 30 days after they are dismissed (unless state law provides a longer tolling period).

Merrill Lynch v. Manning is a victory for state courts. It’s just complicated to explain how.

Per a general federal court jurisdiction statute, Section 1331, federal courts have jurisdiction over all civil lawsuits “arising under” federal law. Section 27 of the Securities Exchange Act provides federal court jurisdiction for all suits “brought to enforce” the Exchange Act.  

In Merrill Lynch v. Manning the Supreme Court held that “arising under” and “brought to enforce” mean the same thing. If a lawsuit, involving violating securities law, such as the one in this case, only includes state law claims that don’t necessarily raise federal issues that lawsuit doesn’t “arise under” federal law. Per the Court’s opinion it also therefore isn’t “brought to enforce” the Exchange Act and must be heard in state court.