Resuscitating Deference to Lower Federal Court Judges Interpretations of State Law – Article by Jonathan Remy Nash

From Volume 77, Number 5 (July 2004)
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This Article examines the propriety of having federal courts afford deference to state law interpretations reached by lower federal court judges. Two Supreme Court decisions from the 1990s seemed substantially to circumscribe such deference. But in fact subsequent Court cases continue to afford deference. Moreover, such deference can be normatively valuable. This Article argues in favor of the use of deference in appropriate circumstances, including situations where the district court and court of appeals agree on the proper interpretation of state law, and where answers to state law questions are obtained through an intrafederal certification regime.


 

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