Washington Law Review


This Note encourages lower federal courts to abandon the fictions of Ex Parte Young completely. The Note begins by exploring the history of the fictions of eleventh amendment doctrine. The Note then examines the Pennhurst Court's step forward in scorning these fictions and acknowledging that suits against state officers implicate state sovereignty. The Note next discusses the dilemma created by the Court's ruling that the eleventh amendment constitutionally prohibits federal judicial infringement of state sovereignty while at the same time acknowledging that the doctrine of Ex Parte Young allows such judicial infringement. Finally, the Note proposes that federal courts rely on 42 U.S.C. section 1983 as congressional authorization to entertain citizens' challenges to state officials' actions. The Note also proposes that courts recognize states' eleventh amendment immunities as limited defenses to the section 1983 cause of action.

First Page