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Old April 5, 2013, 05:15 PM   #474
Join Date: January 20, 2013
Posts: 36
Jurisdictional Authority

No, the state courts don't have to follow a federal circuit court of appeals. However, that doesn't mean the federal courts are without teeth.
However, the state would defend by arguing that the state court's interpretation of the law's constitutionality was not contrary to clearly established Supreme Court precedent or a clearly unreasonable application of Supreme Court precedent. The state interpretation must be objectively unreasonable. It may be wrong but not objectively unreasonable.
This may well be the case where the Circuit in which the state court resides has not spoken, but not before the same Circuit that has clearly spoken on a federal constitutional grounds.

Any Circuit that would allow states to pick among Circuits in direct conflict with its own rulings on federal issues would soon be toothless indeed.

It may be wrong but not objectively unreasonable.
If there is not a case ruling on this issue, any Federal Court of Appeals could quickly make this objectively unreasonable by asserting its jurisdictional authority.

Until the Supreme Court rules on an issue in which there are conflicts among the circuits, a circuit court's ruling is binding precedent in that circuit.

There are many conflicts among the Circuits which the Supreme Court has yet to address. A system in which trial courts could disregard the relevant circuit court’s jurisdictional authority on federal issues would be objectively unreasonable.
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