In Federal Maritime Commission v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, the Supreme Court strongly articulated a new “dignity” rationale for state sovereign immunity. The article critiques this rationale and argues that it dissociates sovereign immunity from any constitutional grounding. However, in doing so, the rationale frees the Court to develop a more coherent theory of state sovereign immunity. The article explores how the dignity rationale might be used to develop such coherence.

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003

Publication Information

56 Oklahoma Law Review 777-832 (2003)