Constitutional Law: Federal Judicial Power: Judicial Review: Adequate and Independent State Grounds

    • Adequate and independent state grounds: Applies only to SCOTUS. Must have final judgment from highest state court that case may reach (usually state supreme court).
      • RULE: SCOTUS will not hear case where state court decision establishes both an adequate and independent state ground upon which case had been decided. May be substantive or procedural.
      • EX: A state supreme court holds state law unconstitutional because (1) it violates that state equal protection clause and (2) it violates the federal commerce clause.
        • Substantive: {winners rule} The challenger (plaintiff) will win in state court because state court has found this unconstitutional. SCOTUS will not hear case since it was decided on state equal protection violation.
        • Procedural: {losers rule} State supreme court fails to reach decision on federal claim because Plaintiff failed to satisfy a state procedural requirement. Plaintiff will lose in state court and will lose again because SCOTUS may use this failure as an adequate state ground with which not to hear case
          • Caveat: MI v. Long- State Court must make it plain and clear that the state ground was independent of the U.S. Constitution. There must be a state reason for rendering the law unconstitutional
        • MBE: For “adequate state grounds” to be the right answer: State Supreme Court holding a law unconstitutional for violating “STATE________.” The doctrine will apply and SCOTUS will not hear the case.