Full Faith and Credit Clause (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Full Faith and Credit Clauserticle IV, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitutionrovides that the various states must recognize legislative acts, public records, and judicial decisions of the other states within the United States. It states that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." The statute that implements the clause, 28 U.S.C.A. § 1738, further specifies that "a state's preclusion rules should control matters originally litigated in that state." The Full Faith and Credit Clause ensures that judicial decisions rendered by the courts in one state are recognized and honored in every other state. It also prevents parties from moving to another state to escape enforcement of a judgment or to relitigate a controversy already decided elsewhere, a practice known as forum shopping.
In drafting the Full Faith and Credit Clause, the Framers of the Constitution were motivated by a desire to unify their new country while preserving the autonomy of the states. To that end, they sought to guarantee that judgments rendered by the courts of one state would not be ignored by the courts of other states. The Supreme Court reiterated the Framers' intent when it held that the Full Faith and Credit Clause precluded any further litigation of a question previously decided by an Illinois court in Milwaukee County v. M. E. White...
(The entire section is 931 words.)
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