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Federal Question

FEDERAL QUESTION

An issue directly involving the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, or treaties between the United States and a foreign country.

Application of these kinds of law to particular cases or interpretation of the meanings of these laws is a power within the authority of the federal courts. The authority to hear lawsuits that turn on a point of federal law is called federal question jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1331 (1993), U.S. district courts "shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Unlike federal jurisdiction based upon diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332 (Supp. 2003), federal question jurisdiction is not dependent on the parties meeting a prescribed amount in controversy.

cross-references

Jurisdiction; Treaty.

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