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Grant number: FT-13799-78

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Tony A. Freyer
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001)

Law and Jurisprudence

To study two controversial Supreme Court cases which established opposing theories of Federal judicial authority over the American Federal system: Swift v. Tyson (1842) and Erie v. Tompkins (1938). Swift held that Federal judges could rule irrespective of state laws; Erie overturned the Swift decision, holding it as an invalid usurpation state power. This study will look at the cases as part of a general intellectual, economic and legal milieu. The grantee's thesis is that the theory of Federalism set forth in Swift was consistent with antebellum values favoring development and national judicial power. Erie, however, embodied a theory historically incorrect but which reflected values influence by reform enthusiasm and the philosophy of legal realism.

Project fields:
Law and Jurisprudence

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$2,500 (approved)
$2,500 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/1978 – 7/31/1978