Vanderbilt Law Review

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Whenever suit is brought in a federal court to challenge the constitutionality or validity of governmental action, the initial response of the government is, almost invariably, "The Court should not hear this case." Several arguments are frequently used. If a state law or action of a state official is challenged, the state will argue that the suit should have been brought in state court' and that the federal court should"abstain" pending a state court determination of state law. When administrative action is challenged, the principal defenses are failure to exhaust administrative remedies and nonreviewability of the action. If the plaintiff has not yet suffered a demonstrable injury, it will be claimed that the case is not "ripe"; if the injury has already occurred,the question of mootness comes into play.

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