Professor Bahadur Uses Maritime Law to Explore Original Federal Jurisdiction

Photograph: Rory D. Bahadur.Professor Rory Bahadur's article,"Maritime Removal: An Unlikely Heuristic for Anchoring Three Non-Textual Principles of Original Federal Jurisdiction," has been published at 43 The Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 195 (2012).

This article uses maritime law as a heuristic for identifying and explaining three broad, non-textual interpretive principles essential to understanding statutory and constitutional grants of original federal jurisdiction. Initially, Professor Bahadur demonstrates the pitfalls of textual statutory isolationism when trying to interpret federal jurisdictional statutes by examining non-textual restrictions on the removal of Jones Act civil actions. Next he explains how federalism modifies the plain meaning of the text of constitutional and statutory grants of jurisdiction by examining the removal of common law maritime claims. Tangentially, this examination also reveals the pivotal role admiralty and maritime law played in the ratification of the Constitution. Finally, by exploring the recent and controversial removal of admiralty actions pursuant to federal arbitration law, Professor Bahadur tangibly demonstrates that identical text often has a very different meaning when used in the Constitution and in statutory jurisdictional grants.

Posted June 11, 2012