Abstention meaning

ăb-stĕnshən, əb-
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The act or habit of deliberate self-denial.
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An abstaining vote or voter.

12 ayes, 10 nays, and 8 abstentions.

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The act or an instance of abstaining.
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The act of voluntarily refraining from taking some action, such as casting a vote or participating in a decision or deliberation.
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The definition of abstention is the act of purposely not doing something.

1. An example of abstention is when a Congressman chooses not to vote on an issue.

2. An example of abstention is refraining from drinking alcohol.

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A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction while awaiting or deferring to a decision by a state court. In doing so, the federal court retains jurisdiction of the legal issues at hand and may decide those issues if the plaintiff is not satisfied with the state court’s decision. See also comity and relinquishment. Several rationales for a federal court’s abstention are named for the United States Supreme Court decision in which the rationale was first applied. These include.
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The refusal of a federal court to consider a challenge to a state’s administrative regulations and proceedings or to review a state court’s decision involving those regulations and proceedings when they involve a substantial or sensitive area of state concern. Burford v. Sun Oil Co. (1943).
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A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction when there is underway a state court proceeding involving the same parties and questions. Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States (1976).
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A federal court’s decision to await the interpretation of a state law by that state’s court before deciding a federal constitutional question that is dependant upon how that law is interpreted. Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Co. (1941).
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A federal court’s declining to consider the argument that a state court judge violates a party’s federal rights for the reason that the proper venue to challenge that judge is that state’s court system. Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co. (1923) and District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman (1983).
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A federal court’s act of declining to exercise its jurisdiction to allow a state court to decide difficult issues if importance in order to avoid unnecessary friction between federal and state authorities. Louisiana Power & Light Co. v. City of Thibodaux (1959).
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A federal court’s decision to halt or interfere with a state court’s criminal proceeding unless the prosecution has been brought in bad faith or harassment.
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A federal court’s decision to halt or interfere with a state court proceeding on the grounds that the arguments of the party seeking the federal courts involvement can be raised and fairly determined in the state court. Younger v. Harris (1971).
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The act of abstaining; a holding aloof; refraining from. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
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The act of declining to vote on a particular issue. [First attested in the late 19th century.]
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Non-participation in the political world; as a country avoiding international affairs.
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Origin of abstention

  • Late Latin abstentiō abstentiōn- from abstentus past participle of Latin abstinēre to hold back abstain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • First attested in 1521. From French abstention, from Late Latin abstēntiō from Latin abstinēō (“withhold, to abstain”)

    From Wiktionary