Nike, Inc. v. Kasky, 539 U.S. 654, 5 (2003)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next



Stevens, J., concurring

reasons: (1) the judgment entered by the California Supreme Court was not final within the meaning of 28 U. S. C. 1257; (2) neither party has standing to invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court; and (3) the reasons for avoiding the premature adjudication of novel constitutional questions apply with special force to this case.


The first jurisdictional problem in this case revolves around the fact that the California Supreme Court never entered a final judgment. Congress has granted this Court appellate jurisdiction with respect to state litigation only after the highest state court in which judgment could be had has rendered a final judgment or decree. See ibid. A literal interpretation of the statute would preclude our review whenever further proceedings remain to be determined in a state court, "no matter how dissociated from the only federal issue" in the case. Radio Station WOW, Inc. v. Johnson, 326 U. S. 120, 124 (1945). We have, however, abjured such a "mechanical" construction of the statute, and accepted jurisdiction in certain exceptional "situations in which the highest court of a State has finally determined the federal issue present in a particular case, but in which there are further proceedings in the lower state courts to come." Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U. S. 469, 477 (1975).1

Nike argues that this case fits within the fourth category of such cases identified in Cox, which covers those cases in which "the federal issue has been finally decided in the state courts with further proceedings pending in which the party seeking review" might prevail on nonfederal grounds, "reversal of the state court on the federal issue would be preclusive of any further litigation on the relevant cause of action,"

1 Notably, we recognized in Cox that in most, if not all, of these exceptional situations, the "additional proceedings anticipated in the lower state courts . . . would not require the decision of other federal questions that might also require review by the Court at a later date." 420 U. S., at 477.

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007