In a number of striking decisions the Rehnquist Court has limited the powers of Congress and substantially insulated the states from federal authority. In doing so it has repeatedly and explicitly based its jurisprudence on Hans v. Louisiana, an 1890 decision in which the Court held that the Eleventh Amendment barred citizens from suing their own states in the federal courts for money due on the state’s bonds. Hans asserted that the Eleventh Amendment, despite its narrow language, was intended to recognize a broad principle of state sovereign immunity which prohibited all suits against states absent their consent.
81 N. Carolina L. Rev. 5