Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank
|Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank|
|Argued April 20, 1999|
Decided June 23, 1999
|Full case name||Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank and United States|
|Citations||527 U.S. 627 (more)|
|Prior||148 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 1998)|
|The Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act did not constitutionally abrogate the states' sovereign immunity.|
|Majority||Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas|
|Dissent||Stevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer|
|Patent Clause, Commerce Clause, U.S. Const. amend. XI, U.S. Const. amend. XIV|
Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 (1999), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States relating to the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
Florida Prepaid was a companion case to the similarly named (but not to be confused) College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board, 527 U.S. 666 (1999). Where College Savings Bank was an action brought under the Lanham Act, Florida Prepaid was a concurrent action brought under the Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act. Although it was unnecessary to reach the question of whether Congress had validly abrogated Florida's sovereign immunity in College Savings Bank, the question was unavoidable in Florida Prepaid.
In a 5–4 decision authored by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the court held that the Act's abrogation of States' sovereign immunity was invalid. Congress could only abrogate sovereign immunity pursuant to its powers under § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment and not Article I (see Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer; Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida). Applying the § 5 test provided in City of Boerne v. Flores, the validity of the Act could not be sustained.
The results of the case are cited repeatedly in subsequent patent cases, and criticized.
Justice Stephen Breyer, in Active Liberty (Federalism), mentions the case as example of potentially overreaching or counterproductive restriction of federal authority to "create uniform individual remedies under legislation dealing with nationwide problems—for example, private civil damages actions for citizens injured by a state's unlawful use of their intellectual property."
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- Melman, Daniel J. (March 2012). "Patently Wrong: A Critical Analysis of Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank". St. John's Law Review. 74 (3): 875–934. Retrieved 6 October 2017.