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Abstract

This Article focuses upon abstention in the context of the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act ("FDJA"). Part I will discuss the various forms of abstention and the historical progression and development of the abstention doctrine in federal case law, setting the background for the expansive holding in Huth v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest. Part II of the article will discuss the procedural history of Huth and the respective rulings of the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as it relates to their application of the abstention doctrine. Part III will then analyze the numerous, and potentially detrimental, chilling effects of this ruling and the extensive broadening of the abstention doctrine as it applies to declaratory judgment actions, a development that diverges from the bases and reasoning of the doctrine as it has been historically applied. Part IV will conclude the article, summarizing the federal courts' use of this doctrine and how the Huth decision is the next extensive progression in the unilateral narrowing of the boundaries of jurisdiction undertaken by the federal judiciary.