Aliens, the Internet, and "Purposeful Availment": A Reassessment of Fifth Amendment Limits on Personal Jurisdiction

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Perdue, Wendy Collins
due process of law; electronic commerce; aliens; Constitutional Law; Jurisdiction
article description
This Article first considers the Fourteenth Amendment cases and argues that the constitutional limits on the jurisdictional authority of state courts reflect a view about the limits of state authority. It then turns to the Fifth Amendment and, after considering the practices of other nations and lessons from prescriptive jurisdiction, argues that the United States's sovereign authority should allow it to assert personal jurisdiction solely on the basis of effects in the United States, without a requirement of "purposeful availment." It further argues that concerns about reasonableness should be addressed at the subconstitutional level. This Article is built on two basic premises: that personal jurisdiction is a doctrine that concerns the allocation of sovereign authority, and that the underlying sovereignty considerations of the United States within the world community are quite different from those of the states within our confederation of states. As a result, although the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments are worded the same, the limitations that those clauses impose on sovereign authority are different.