UC Law Journal


Evan Tsen Lee


The conventional wisdom about jurisdiction is that it equals power and is conceptually distinct from the merits. In this Article, Professor Lee challenges both those notions. Jurisdiction is more akin to legitimate authority than to power, and, as such, cannot be conceptually distinguished from the merits, which also ultimately pertain to legitimate authority. Professor Lee argues that courts should therefore abstain from the metaphysics of jurisdiction-they should always ask whether, all things considered, they should rule as a plaintiff asks, not whether they are capable of so ruling.

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