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SCOTUS says 1 state can't be sued in another's courts

May 13, 2019

The Supreme Court of the United States is ruling that one state cannot unwillingly be sued in the courts of another, overruling a 40-year precedent.

The justices are dividing 5-4 Monday in ending a long-running dispute between California officials and Nevada inventor Gilbert Hyatt.

Hyatt is a former California resident who sued California's tax agency for being too zealous in seeking back taxes from him. Hyatt won a judgment in Nevada courts.

But Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court's conservative justices that the Constitution forbids states from opening the doors of their courts to a private citizen's lawsuit against another state. In 1979, the high court concluded otherwise.

The four liberal justices dissented.
 

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