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Hyatt I, II, and III
Andrew Hyman

On May 16, my co-blogger Michael Ramsey blogged here about the California v. Hyatt (Hyatt III) case involving a state’s sovereign immunity in the courts of other states, and did so again on May 22.  I agree with much of what Mike writes, for example that Hyatt III is very different from other SCOTUS precedents regarding sovereign immunity, which only restrict the federal government without restricting the states. But still (as he says) I am more sympathetic to Hyatt III than he is.
It’s the result rather than the rationale that I sympathize with in Hyatt III.  It seems absurd to read the Constitution as allowing citizens of one state to sue another state as long as the suit is not brought in a neutral federal forum.   Mike replies that, during the founding era, “States may well have thought that judgments from the new federal courts were more of a threat than judgments from the courts of other states (which would be less likely -- being subject to retaliation -- and much harder to enforce).”  Maybe, but I have another argument too.
The Full Faith and Credit Clause at Article IV, Section 1 says that, “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.”  Suppose State A decides that, as a general rule, it shall have sovereign immunity to the maximum extent possible in all future lawsuits.  State B should then be obliged to give full faith and credit to that prior enactment of State A.  And that’s basically the same result as in Hyatt III via a different rationale. Unfortunately, SCOTUS rejected this full-faith-and-credit-argument in  Hyatt I (2003): “We granted certiorari to resolve whether the Nevada Supreme Court's refusal to extend full faith and credit to California's statute immunizing its tax collection agency from suit violates Article IV; § 1, of the Constitution. We conclude it does not....”  I think Hyatt I was wrongly decided.
So what happened between Hyatt I and Hyatt III? Hyatt II (2016) of course.  In that case, the Court attempted to split the baby by giving California some immunity in Nevada courts under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, but less immunity than the Court would give in Hyatt III, though more immunity than the Court had given in Hyatt I (Chief Justice Roberts summarized Hyatt II in his dissent: “To comply with the Full Faith and Credit Clause, the Nevada Supreme Court need only afford the Board the same limited immunity that Nevada agencies enjoy”).
The Full Faith and Credit Clause may be more difficult to apply to states’ statutory law than to states’ court judgments, but in situations where the state law is a straightforward claim of traditional sovereign immunity then what’s the difficulty?