If an individual can't sue a state under the 11th Amend., what is Miranda v. Arizona, for instance?

Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 12:15 pm
I'm learning about the Constitution and the Supreme Court and judiciary system in general right now, so please bear with me as I'm sure this question is on the obvious side for folks who know their way around the American legal system. Anyway, I am currently studying the 11th Amendment, and I was surprised to learn that it prohibits an individual (or is it any private party?) from suing a state (and from what I can tell, whether this is limited to the individual's own state or another state is open to debate).

1) One question this raised for me has to do with Supreme Court cases that have become well-known, like Miranda v. Arizona or Griswold v. Connecticut. Aren't the names Miranda and Griswold referring to individuals? Is it that they aren't actually suing the states involved?

2) As I understand it, the prohibition can be waved if the state consents to be sued. Why in the world would a state ever consent to be sued?

3) What does it take for Congress to wave the prohibition? I've been studying the case of Haseeb Chishty, a young autistic man who was severely beaten by staff at a state-run facility in Texas. His is a case where Congress eventually gave permission for his family to sue the state of Texas in an effort to pay for his care. But what I don't know is what went into that process of granting permission.

4) Would someone be willing to look at the public record of the Chishty case and tell me how they understand the final entries? From what I can tell (and I am not experienced in reading legal records) the family could not pay court fees at the end and the case was dismissed. Here is the link: http://justice1.dentoncounty.com/PublicAccess/CaseDetail.aspx?CaseID=1223951

I know this is a lot! A huge thank you to anyone who can help me with any one of these questions.
Reply Wed 9 Jan, 2013 12:19 pm
The Eleventh Amendment applies to civil suits. Miranda v. Arizona and Griswold v. Connecticut were both criminal cases. Those aren't covered under the Eleventh Amendment.
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