What in the Constitution makes it unconstitutional to sue your own state in federal court?

Article, Title, or Amendment please.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Eleventh Amendment.

    Alden v. Maine, prohibited private suits against states in state court.

    Hans v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court ruled that a citizen cannot sue their own state either, based on principles of state sovereign immunity and federalism.

  • 9 years ago

    The 11th Amendment, but such lawsuits are often brought against, e.g., the Attorney General of a state to obtain injunction against enforcement of some un-Constitutional law, and the like.

    The 11th Amendment has also been used by state universities to avoid damage lawsuits for copyright infringement, being an "agency of the state" and therefore immune, regardless of what the statutes say...

    One attempt to get around this was legislation that would have required a state to AUTHORIZE lawsuits in order for it to BENEFIT from lawsuits. For instance, a state school in FLA owns the trademark GATORADE, and the idea was that they would lose the right to sue in federal court if the school couldn't be sued in federal court. I believe the SCOTUS saw through it an applied the basic Constitutional immunity.

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