Lawsuits Against the Federal Government: Basic Federal Court Procedure and Timelines [October 28, 2019] [open pdf - 411KB]
From the Document: "In Alexis De Tocqueville's classic 1835 work, 'Democracy in America', the author observed how important judicial procedures were to the United States political fabric: 'There is virtually no political question in the United States that does not sooner or later resolve itself into a judicial question.' This quote resonates today as the courts continue to be the center of a number of closely watched matters. In recent years, plaintiffs have brought cases challenging, for instance, the President's proclamation restricting the entry of certain non-U.S. nationals into the United States, the Secretary of Commerce's decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and the President's decision to expend certain funds for constructing a 'border wall.' Because the defendant in these cases is invariably the United States or an executive official, they generally proceed in federal courts. Understanding the common procedures governing the federal courts allows legislative branch observers to plan for potential outcomes, estimate timelines, and appreciate the importance of a court's ruling at a particular stage. This In Focus reviews the most common procedures that govern such cases, tracing the path from federal district court to the Supreme Court."
CRS In Focus, IF11349
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/