Thirty-two years after establishing the Court of Claims, Congress enacted the Tucker Act, expanding that court's JUR ISDICTION to decide claims against the United States. Henceforth, the court might decide not only contract claims but also claims against the government founded on the Constitution and other damage claims not based on tort. Today the act confers jurisdiction over such cases on the United States CLAIMS COURT, along with jurisdiction over claims founded on various federal statutes and regulations. If the amount in controversy in such a case is less than $10,000, the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT exercises
CONCURRENT JURISDICTION?thus allowing persons with small claims to bring suit in their home districts rather than in Washington, D.C. The act creates no substantive rights but merely provides jurisdiction in cases in which the government's liability is founded on other principles of law. In effect, however, the act amounts to a waiver of the federal government's SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY, in recognition of the vital principle that government should not be above the law.
KENNETH L. KARST
(SEE ALSO: Federal Tort Claims Act.)
WRIGHT, CHARLES A.; MILLER, ARTHUR R.; and COOPER, EDWARD H. 1985 Federal Practice and...