William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Spring 1989), pp. 499-540


The thesis of this Article is that substantive factors exert a powerful and often unrecognized influence over the resolution of jurisdictional issues, and have done so throughout our history. The chief substantive factors at issue are the government's interest iin regulating behavior on the one hand, and the individual's interest in enforcing constitutional restraints upon government on the other. Part I of this Article examines the relationship between jurisdictional rules and substantive consequences, Part II describes the Court's conventional account of federal courts doctrine in terms of jurisdictional policy and institutional roles, and Part III shows that the reasons set forth in the Court's opinions lack credibility. The rulings fit into a coherent pattern only when viewed from the perspective of the Court's substantive agenda.