ArtIII.S2.C1.1.7.3.1 Modern Mootness Doctrine: Introduction

Article III, Section 2, Clause 1:

The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

The Supreme Court has decided mootness issues in a wide array of contexts since the Supreme Court decided Liner in 1964. 1 As a result, the Court has developed a robust body of precedent governing when a case should (or should not) be dismissed as moot, as well as what procedures a federal court should follow after a case becomes moot.

Footnotes

  1.  Jump to essay-1See, e.g., North Carolina v. Covington, 138 S. Ct. 2548, 2552–53 (2018) (electoral redistricting case); Kernan v. Cuero, 138 S. Ct. 4, 7 (2017) (habeas corpus case); FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health Sys., Inc., 568 U.S. 216, 224 n.3 (2013) (antitrust case); Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Fla., 568 U.S. 115, 120 (2013) (admiralty case); Pac. Bell Tel. Co. v. Linkline Commc'ns, Inc., 555 U.S. 438, 446 (2009) (antitrust case); Lopez v. Gonzales, 549 U.S. 47, 52 n.2 (2006) (immigration case); Tory v. Cochran, 544 U.S. 734, 736–37 (2005) (defamation case); Washington v. Harper, 494 U.S. 210, 218–19 (1990) (civil rights case); FDIC v. Mallen, 486 U.S. 230, 237 n.7 (1988) (banking law case); Gwaltney of Smithfield, Ltd. v. Chesapeake Bay Found., Inc., 484 U.S. 49, 66 (1987) (environmental law case); INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421, 426 n.3 (1987) (immigration case); Bethel Sch. Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675, 686 n.* (1986) (free speech case); Lockhart v. McCree, 476 U.S. 162, 168 n.2 (1986) (habeas corpus case); Golden State Transit Corp. v. City of Los Angeles, 475 U.S. 608, 613 n.3 (1986) (labor law case); Ohio v. Kovacs, 469 U.S. 274, 277–78 (1985) (bankruptcy case); United States Dep't of Justice v. Provenzano, 469 U.S. 14, 14–16 (1984) (privacy law case); Firefighters Local Union No. 1784 v. Stotts, 467 U.S. 561, 568–72 (1984) (employment law case); Local No. 82, Furniture & Piano Moving, Furniture Store Drivers, Helpers, Warehousemen & Packers v. Crowley, 467 U.S. 526, 535 n.11 (1984) (labor law case); Consol. Rail Corp. v. Darrone, 465 U.S. 624, 630–31 (1984) (discrimination case); INS v. Phinpathya, 464 U.S. 183, 188 n.6 (1984) (immigration case); City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 96, 101 (1983) (civil rights case); Johnson v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chi., 457 U.S. 52, 52–54 (1982) (discrimination case); Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 370–71 (1982) (housing law case); Univ. of Tex. v. Camenisch, 451 U.S. 390, 391–98 (1981) (discrimination case); Vitek v. Jones, 445 U.S. 480, 486–87 (1980) (prison law case); Quern v. Mandley, 436 U.S. 725, 733 n.7 (1978) (public assistance law case); Stanton v. Stanton, 421 U.S. 7, 11 (1975) (family law case); Vill. of Belle Terre v. Boraas, 416 U.S. 1, 9–10 (1974) (zoning law case); Mancusi v. Stubbs, 408 U.S. 204, 205–07 (1972) (habeas corpus case); Socialist Labor Party v. Gilligan, 406 U.S. 583, 584, 589 (1972) (election law case); Roudebush v. Hartke, 405 U.S. 15, 18–19 (1972) (election law case); Whitcomb v. Chavis, 403 U.S. 124, 140–41 (1971) (legislative apportionment case).