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Eleventh Amendment Immunity
"The suggestion that suits in equity do not drain money as frightfully as actions at law, however, is belied by the paradigm case. See Jarndyce and Jarndyce."
Ginsburg on Dickens
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Albert Hess and Charles F. Walsh

v.

Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation
Eleventh Amendment Immunity

Justice Ginsburg Opinion
November 14, 1994
Seal Of The Supreme Court
Excerpt:

Footnote 19: The dissent questions whether the driving concern of the Eleventh Amendment is the protection of state treasuries, emphasizing that the amendment covers "any suit in law or equity." The suggestion that suits in equity do not drain money as frightfully as actions at law, however, is belied by the paradigm case. See Jarndyce and Jarndyce (Charles Dickens, BLEAK HOUSE 1853).

Text Excerpt:

BLEAK HOUSE, Charles Dickens

Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.


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