Article Title

Sovereign Authority, Fairness, and Personal Jurisdiction: The Case for the Doctrine of Transient Jurisdiction

Publication Title

Washington University Law Quarterly


This Article challenges the conventional scholarly wisdom and contends that transient jurisdiction fits comfortably within the Supreme Court's basic structure of personal jurisdiction analysis. Part I traces the development of transient jurisdiction and the arguments against it. Part II discusses the Court's current approach to personal jurisdiction problems generally, concluding that the case law reflects the principle that a defendant is generally subject to the jurisdiction of any sovereign with which the defendant has voluntarily associated itself. Part III demonstrates that the exercise of transient jurisdiction is perfectly consistent with this principle, and that to deny states jurisdiction over transients would create an imbalance in the transients' rights and obligations.