Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank

Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627 (1999), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States relating to the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Florida Prepaid was a companion case to the similarly named (but not to be confused) College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board, 527 U.S. 666 (1999). Where College Savings Bank was an action brought under the Lanham Act, Florida Prepaid was a concurrent action brought the Patent and Plant Variety Protection Remedy Clarification Act. Also, while it was unnecessary in College Savings Bank to reach the question of whether Congress had validly abrogated Florida's sovereign immunity, in Florida Prepaid, that question was unavoidable, and the court held – in a decision authored by Chief Justice William Rehnquist – that the Act's abrogation of States' sovereign immunity was invalid. Congress could only abrogate sovereign immunity pursuant to its § 5 powers, not its Article I powers (see Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer; Seminole Tribe v. Florida), and the Act could not be sustained as legislation validly enacted pursuant to § 5 under the test set forth in City of Boerne v. Flores.

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