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Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank

Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 (1999), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States relating to the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued April 20, 1999
Decided June 23, 1999
Full case nameFlorida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank and United States
Citations527 U.S. 627 (more)
119 S. Ct. 2199; 144 L. Ed. 2d 575; 67 U.S.L.W. 3683; 67 U.S.L.W. 4580; 135 Ed. Law Rep. 342; 51 U.S.P.Q.2d 1081; 99 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 4945; 1999 Daily Journal D.A.R. 6371; 1999 CJ C.A.R. 3688; 12 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 458
Case history
Prior148 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 1998)
Holding
The Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act did not constitutionally abrogate the states' sovereign immunity.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
MajorityRehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas
DissentStevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Laws applied
Patent Clause, Commerce Clause, U.S. Const. amend. XI, U.S. Const. amend. XIV

Florida Prepaid was a companion case to the similarly named (but not to be confused) College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board, 527 U.S. 666 (1999). Where College Savings Bank was an action brought under the Lanham Act, Florida Prepaid was a concurrent action brought under the Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act. Although it was unnecessary to reach the question of whether Congress had validly abrogated Florida's sovereign immunity in College Savings Bank, the question was unavoidable in Florida Prepaid.

Contents

FindingsEdit

In a 5-4 decision authored by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the court held that the Act's abrogation of States' sovereign immunity was invalid. Congress could only abrogate sovereign immunity pursuant to its powers under § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment and not Article I (see Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer; Seminole Tribe v. Florida). Applying the § 5 test provided in City of Boerne v. Flores, the validity of the Act could not be sustained.

ImplicationsEdit

The results of the case are cited repeatedly in subsequent patent cases, and criticized.[1]

Justice Stephen Breyer, in Active Liberty (Federalism), mentions the case as example of potentially overreaching or counterproductive restriction of federal authority to "create uniform individual remedies under legislation dealing with nationwide problems—for example, private civil damages actions for citizens injured by a state's unlawful use of their intellectual property".

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Melman, Daniel J. (March 2012). "Patently Wrong: A Critical Analysis of Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank". St. John's Law Review. 74 (3): 875–934. Retrieved 6 October 2017.

External linksEdit