Pullman Abstention Law and Legal Definition

Pullman abstention is a principle that prohibits the federal courts from dealing a states constitutional issue when the state is having means to resolve the issue. Pullman abstention is one among the initial doctrines developed by the Supreme Court. This principle evolved from the case namely, Railroad Com. of Texas v. Pullman Co. [312 U.S. 496 (U.S. 1941)]. For application of the doctrine of Pullman abstention certain condition needs to be fulfilled. They are:

1. There must be a state law issue that is potentially dispositive;

2. That state law must be unclear; and

3. That disposing of state law will avoid constitutional questions.