Steps in analyzing federal question jurisdiction

Do all steps that are reasonably raised by the facts and law:

Step 1: Article III (federal ingredient in original action)

Step 2: 1331

  • WPC Rule (filtering step) [This is a rule.]
  • Does WPC contain a FQ?  Two alternatives:
    • Alt. # 1: Holmes’ “creation test” [This is a rule.]
    • Alt. # 2: Grable/Gunn test [This is a standard.] (see below)

Analyzing Grable/Gunn:

Does the “state-law claim necessarily raise a stated federal issue, actually disputed and substantial, which a federal forum may entertain without disturbing any congressionally approved balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities”?

That is, federal jurisdiction over a state law claim will lie if —

A federal issue is:

  1. Necessarily raised,
  2. Actually disputed,
  3. Substantial, and
  4. Capable of resolution in federal court without disrupting the federal-state balance approved by Congress.

NOTE: “The substantiality inquiry under Grable looks instead to the importance of the issue to the federal system as a whole.”

Presented in review 11/23/15. Posted same day.