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Constitutional Law; Sovereign immunity

Constitutional Law; Sovereign immunity

A court may nor order a state to pay damages.

“A payment of state funds, however, that is not “a necessary consequence of compliance in the future with a substantive federal-question determination,” is not permitted. Edelman, 415 U.S. at 668. The Eleventh Amendment was adopted to ensure that such retroactive damages claims would not be heard in federal court absent the state’s consent. Thus, courts may enjoin ongoing behavior by state officials that violates federal law. They may also order state officials to act in a certain manner going forward that may cost the state money to implement. They may not, however, direct a state to make payments to resolve a private debt or to remedy a past injury to a private party. The district court determined that the relief sought by McDonough fell under the Ex parte Young exception and therefore was not barred by the Eleventh Amendment. This determination was in error.”

Vacated and Remanded.

12-2702 McDonough Associates, Inc., v. Grunloh

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Shadur, J., Hamilton, J.

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