adequate and independent state grounds

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Adequate and independent state grounds refers to the standard used by the Supreme Court to determine if it will hear a case from a state court. The Supreme Court will hear a case from a state court only if the state court judgment is overturned on federal grounds.  It will refuse jurisdiction if it finds adequate and independent nonfederal grounds to support the state decision.

See e.g., Republican Nat. Committee v. Burton 455 U.S. 1301 (1982).

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]