Why Supplemental Jurisdiction is like an ice cream cone with sprinkles

As my Civ Pro students know, I like to analogize supplemental jurisdiction to an ice cream cone:

  • The cone is the federal district court.
  • The ice cream is original jurisdiction. Examples include sections 1331, 1332, 1335, 1338, etc.
  • The sprinkles are supplemental jurisdiction.

Can you have an ice cream cone without ice cream? No, that’d be an empty cone. For a federal district court to hear a case, it must have original jurisdiction.

Can you have sprinkles without ice cream? No, that’d simply be gross. You first need the ice cream, and then you can add sprinkles. For a federal district court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, it must first have original jurisdiction.

The moral: you want supplemental jurisdiction? First make sure you’ve got some ice cream.

For additional study materials on supplemental jurisdiction, including handouts and problems, see here.

Bonus question: what kind of jurisdiction is Patrick Star exercising? Original? Supplemental? Both?

Thanks to Sylvia F. for reminding me of Patrick’s love of ice cream.



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