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The Irrepressible Myth of Erie

John Hart Ely
Harvard Law Review
Vol. 87, No. 4 (Feb., 1974), pp. 693-740
DOI: 10.2307/1339870
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1339870
Page Count: 48
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The Irrepressible Myth of Erie
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Abstract

The choice of law in diversity actions in the federal courts is governed by the famous case of Erie R. R. v. Tompkins and its progeny. In this Article, John Hart Ely reexamines the Erie precedents and argues that the widely-accepted view of "Erie" improperly treats as a single command the three distinct standards of the Constitution, the Rules of Decision Act, and the Rules Enabling Act. In addition, Professor Ely presents a new interpretation of the Enabling Act, which attempts to give meaning to that Act's apparent command that Federal Rules be subordinated to state rules based on any substantive policy.

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