Upgrade to remove ads
Constitutional Law I Cases
Cases with brief facts and holdings Federal Judicial Power Federal Legislative Power Federal Executive Power Due Process and Fundamental Right
Terms in this set (54)
Marbury v. Madison
Topic: JUDICIAL REVIEW
Facts: President Jefferson's Secretary of State, Madison, refused to deliver a commission granted to Marbury by former President Adams.
Holding: The Supreme Court has the power, implied from Article VI, 2, of the Constitution, to review acts of Congress and if they are found repugnant to the Constitution, to declare them valid.
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816):
Topic: JUDICIAL REVIEW
Facts: Land dispute. The state of Virginia enacted legislation during the Revolutionary War that gave the State the power to confiscate the property of British Loyalists. Hunter was given a grant of land by the State. Denny Martin held the land under devise from Lord Thomas Fairfax
Holding:The U.S. Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions involving federal law.
The federal power was given directly by the people and not by the States. Article III, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that "in all other cases before mentioned the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction". This demonstrates a textual commitment to allow Supreme Court review of state decisions. If the Supreme Court could not review decisions from the highest State courts, the state courts necessarily would be excluded from hearing cases involving questions of federal law. It had already been established that state courts have the power to rule on issues of federal law, and therefore the Supreme Court must be able to review those decisions. The Court also held that the Supremacy Clause states that the federal interpretation trumps the states' interpretation. The Court rejected concerns regarding state judicial sovereignty. The Supreme Court could already review state executive and legislative decisions and this case was no different. Story then confronted the arguments that state judges were bound to uphold the Constitution just as federal judges were, and so denying state interpretations presumed that the state judges would less than faithfully interpret the Constitution. The Court stated that the issue did not concern bias; rather, it concerned the need for uniformity in federal law. The Supreme Court concluded that the decision by the Virginia court of appeals was in error.
Cohens v. Virginia (1821
Topic: Judicial Review
Facts:An act of Congress authorized the operation of a lottery in the District of Columbia. The Cohen brothers proceeded to sell D.C. lottery tickets in the state of Virginia, violating state law. State authorities tried and convicted the Cohens, and then declared themselves to be the final arbiters of disputes between the states and the national government.
Holding: In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction to review state criminal proceedings. Chief Justice Marshall wrote that the Court was bound to hear all cases that involved constitutional questions, and that this jurisdiction was not dependent on the identity of the parties in the cases. Marshall argued that state laws and constitutions, when repugnant to the Constitution and federal laws, were "absolutely void." After establishing the Court's jurisdiction, Marshall declared the lottery ordinance a local matter and concluded that the Virginia court was correct to fine the Cohens brothers for violating Virginia law.
Eakin v. Raub
case famous for an opinion by Judge John B. Gibson against the principle of judicial review. Implications of judicial review; the ability to overturn laws is essentially making law. This is legislative power and not judicial power.
Ex Parte McCardle (1869)
Topic: Congressional Limits on Judicial Reveiw
Facts: McCardle appealed for a denial of habeas corpus to the SC, but Congress passed an act forbidding the Court jurisdiction.
Holding: Although the Supreme Court derives its appellate jurisdiction from the Constitution, the Constitution also gives Congress the express power to make exceptions to that appellate jurisdiction.
Hamdan v. Rumsfield
Supreme court case that held that military commissions set up by the Bush administration to try Guantanamo Bay detainees was in violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions
United States v. Klein (1871):
Topic: Separation of Powers & Judicial Review
Facts: Klein was awarded compensation for property destroyed by the Union army because a presidential pardon he received presumptively showed that he had been loyal, loyalty being a condition of receiving such an award. On appeal, he challenged a congressional enactment that directed federal courts to find that pardon was proof of disloyalty and that denied the court jurisdiction over the claim.
Holding: A statute violates the separation of powers by commanding a court to draw a certain conclusion from evidence before it and by directing the court to dismiss an appeal for lack of jurisdiction when it encounters such evidence.
NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp
Topic: Commerce Clause
Facts: Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., a manufacturing company with subsidiaries in several states and nationwise sales, was charged with an unfair labor practice under the NLRA. In defense, Jones & Laughlin claimed that the Act was an unconstitutional attempt to regulate intrastate production.
Holding: The manufacturing portions of a large, integrated multistate corporation all within the constitutional meaning of the term "activities affecting commerce" so as to allow federal regulation thereof. "The fundamental principal is that the power to regulate commerce is the power to enact 'all appropriate legislation' for 'its protection and advancement,' 'to adopt measures' to 'promote its growth and insure its safety,' 'to foster, protect, control, and restrain.'"
Baker v. Carr (Political Question)
(LBJ) 1962 Baker v. Carr, case decided in 1962 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Tennessee had failed to reapportion the state legislature for 60 years despite population growth and redistribution. Charles Baker, a voter, brought suit against the state (Joe Carr was a state official in charge of elections) in federal district court, claiming that the dilution of his vote as a result of the state's failure to reapportion violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The court dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it could not decide a political question. Baker appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that a case raising a political issue would be heard. This landmark decision opened the way for numerous suits on legislative apportionment.
Colegrove v. Green
federal courts had no power to become involved in state legislative apportionment (politcal question)—later overruled by Baker v. Carr
Goldwater v. Carter (Justiciability)
President Carter terminated a defense treaty with Taiwan. Neither the Senate nor the House have taken action to prevent or contest the action so several members brought a claim against Carter alleging the the President deprived them of their constitutional role.
Issue: Whether the president, in terminating a treaty with another country, needs the approval of Congress, and if so does it involve a political question?
Holding - Political question that the court cannot get into. If Congress had challenged the President's authority to terminate, then the court would have a justiciable issue to decide, but since it has not it is a case better suited for the Legislative branch.
Nixon v. US
judge that was impeached for bribing said his trial was unconstitutional violation of art I §3 since the senate has the sole power of trying impeachments and they delegated the power to a special committee to try and then decided the merits of the case based on the transcript. the court said it is up to the senate, not the courts to decide what is a proper hearing. THIS IS NONJUSTICIABLE POLITICAL QUESTION (category 1 of baker)
Flast v. Cohen
The taxpayers did prove standing under the First Amendment. A two part test was developed: A taxpayer is the only one who can challenge Congressional spending under Article I §8 so they have to prove that they are a taxpayer. They must show a link that the enactment exceeds their specific limits and not that it generally exceeds those limits. The taxpayers did, in this case, establish standing.
Powell v. McCormack
Case involving a black congressman from New York who was not allowed to take his House seat. Warren held that it was justiciable and not a political question because the Constitution had been violated -- sets an age, citzenship and residency requirement to be seated and Powell met all three therefore House could not refuse to seat him.
U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton
(1997): State-imposed term limits on members of Congress are unconstitutional. The Framers intended the Constitution to be the sole source of the qualifications for members of Congress
Gravel v. US
1972 - The privileges of the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause enjoyed by members of Congress also extend to Congressional aides, but not to activity outside the legislative process. this upholds the privilege of privileged speech in the house and senate.
Doe v McMillan
(1973) Legal Question: Does the Speech or Debate Clause protect members (& their staff) and other persons who were involved in creating and distributing a report on the D.C. School systems identified, by name, specific children and did so in a negative way?
Court's Response: The clause offers absolute immunity to members and staff, but not to individuals who, acting under congressional authority, distributed the materials
Hutchinson v. Proxmire
o The Supreme Court ruled that the Speech or Debate Clause does not protect Members of Congress against liability for information they transmit by press releases or newsletters.
o Only protects speech and debate. No immunity for more than core legislative activities.
-Waste of time statement for anger management study in animals
Eastland v. U.S. Servicemens' Fund
(1975) Legal Question: Does the Speech or Debate clause protect members against a suit brought by an organization to stop the implementation of a subpoena ordering a bank to produce certain records?
Court's Response: The clause offers absolute protection b/c the activities fall within the "legitimate legislative" sphere.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Topic: Necessary and Proper Clause
Facts: Determining whether the National Bank was a Constitutional use of Congress's powers.
Holding:The act chartering the national bank was valid because it bore a reasonable relationship to various constitutionally enumerated powers of the government (the power to collect taxes, to borrow money, to regulate commerce, etc.). Congress may choose any means not prohibited by the Constitution that carries out its authority.
Kilbourn v. Thompson
court ruled congress was limited to investigating only subjects congress could validly legislate, not constitutionally left for the court, and must have congressional interest in legislating the matter
McGrain v. Daugherty
Concerned the power of Congress to force someone to appear before it in the course of an investigation. Court upheld the right of the Senate committee to bring the witness before it.
Watkins v. US
Watkins convicted for refusing to name other people that supported the communist group, court ruled that congress had overstepped boundaries by convicting, said congress oversight was limited to other branches of government and didnt extend to people's live, limited idea of legislative oversight and implied powers; Warren ruled in favor of Watkins not b/c of 1st Amendment, but b/c of 14th with Due Process.
Barenblatt v. US
1st amend doesn't protect a witness from all lines of questioning as long as the inquiry is pursued to "aid the legislative process" & protect important gov interests; Different from Watkins b/c the questioning was regarding current membership where Watkins was past membership.
Gibson v. FL Legislative Investigating Commission
[During Cold War] Gibson was a leader in NAACP who refused to provide committee with the organization's membership records and help in contempt; Court reversed contempt ruling stating there was no compelling reason for needing the membership list.
U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.
case involving principles of both governmental regulation of business and the supremacy of the executive branch of the federal government to conduct foreign affairs; said that the president is delegated the power to conduct foreign affairs; was caught selling arms to Bolivia
South Carolina v. Katzenbach
An unanimous decision. It rejected that claim that the law violated the reserved power of each State to shape its own electoral system. the Court found that the Voting Rights Act to be a proper exercise of the power granted to Congress by the 15th amendment; Also shows that Congress can draw their authority for laws from the amendments.
Bush v. Gore
a United States Supreme Court case heard on December 11, 2000. In a per curiam opinion, by a vote of 7-2, the Court held that the Florida Supreme Court's scheme for recounting ballots was unconstitutional, and by a vote of 5-4, the Court held that no alternative scheme could be established within the time limits established by Florida Legislature.. The per curiam opinion was argued on the basis of Equal Protection.
Train v. City of New York
President Richard Nixon was of the view that the administration was not obligated to disburse all funds allocated by Congress to states seeking federal monetary assistance under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 and ordered the impoundment of substantial amounts of environmental protection funds for a program he vetoed, and which had been overridden by Congress.
The Court ruled that the president could not order the impoundment of substantial amounts of environmental protection funds for a program in these circumstances. The president cannot frustrate the will of Congress by killing a program through impoundment.
In re Neagle
Facts of the Case
Suspecting a plot against Justice Stephen J. Field's life, the U.S. Attorney General appointed Neagle, a U.S. Marshall, to protect him. Acting as Field's bodyguard, Neagle shot and killed a man who appeared about to attack the justice. After California officials arrested and jailed Neagle, the U.S. sought his release by a writ of habeas corpus.
Was the state obligated to obey the writ even though no national statute empowered the Attorney General to provide judges with bodyguards?
Yes. The Court held that the Attorney General acted appropriately since assigning Neagle as Field's bodyguard assured that the nation's laws would be faithfully executed. Furthermore, Neagle's actions were consistent with a congressional statute which provided U.S. Marshals with "the same powers, in executing the laws" as state sheriffs and deputies (who would have been allowed to deter an attack on Field's life).authority is inferrable from text of constitution: The Court held that the President's duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully
executed" empowered him to act to safeguard certain American rights or interests even absent statutory authority, here authorizing protection for a Supreme Court justice whose life had been threatened.
Clinton v. New York
Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto as granted in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional because it impermissibly gave the President the power to unilaterally amend or repeal parts of bills that had been appropriately passed by the United States Congress.
Morrison v. Olson
[During time Nixon was being impeached] Facts: Act created of special court and empowered AG to recommend to that court appointment of independent counsel to investigate and prosecute government officials for certain violations
Issue: Did Act violate constitutional principle of separation of powers
Holding: No. No violation of Appointments Clause; not offensive to the separation of powers doctrine since it did not impermissibly interfere with the functions of the Executive branch
Rationale: Independent prosecutor is an "inferior officer" - okay that President doesn't have authority to remove
Myers v. US
president has exclusive right to fire postmaster.
* President has the exclusive power to remove executive branch officials, and does not need the approval of the Senate or any other legislative body.
* statute was unconstitutional, for it violated the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
the act of removal is executive in nature and must be performed by the presdient
Humphrey's Executor v. US
FTC and presidential power of removal - president is not free to remove commissions of these independent regulatory agencies
US v. Nixon
The Supreme Court does have the final voice in determining constitutional questions; no person, not even the President of the United States, is completely above law; and the president cannot use executive privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence that is 'demonstrably relevant in a criminal trial
Mississippi v. Johnson
• May a Pres be sued in order to prevent him from executing law?
• No. Pres immunity - cannot be sued for executive actions (executive duty)
• Judiciary cannot interfere because of separation of power
Nixon v. Fitzgerald
air force whistle-blower. further defines executive privilege and states that Presidents cannot be sued for damages related to official decisions while in office. absolute immunity
Clinton v. Jones
Court ruled that President is not immune from civil litigation and the judicial process. Furthermore, court stated that although branches are separate the branches have the right to exercise control over one another.
Ex Parte Grossman
- selling liquor during prohibition, Coolidge issued a pardon saying all he needed was a fine.
- Court decided that president does have power to issue a pardon. Check on judicial power
Murphy v. Ford
• May a Pres issue blanket pardon before one has been convicted or indicted?
• Yes, pardons restore tranquility during a "season of insurrection or rebellion"
• Not SC case (?)
J.W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. US
Topic: "Intelligible principle"
Congress granted the President power to increase and decrease tariffs as much as 50%, based on his involvement and knowledge of foreign affairs, Hampton disagreed and stated COngress was giving the President the power to create law. Taft wrote for a unanimous court stating the Congress may seek assistance in matters where it is logical so long as Congress "shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body that is authorized is directed to conform"
Panama Refining Co. V. Ryan
[During New Deal]
1. "Hot oil case"
2. Authorized President to ban interstate and foreign shipment beyond certain state quotas of petroleum
3. Struck down - too broad
It has been suggested that the justices really wanted to just strike down the New Deal.; really focused on the ability of Congress to delegate powers out and if they did (with a lot of New Deal programs/agencies) then they need to be more specific
(no intelligible principle)
Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US
[During New Deal]
"Sick Chicken Case" (1935, Supreme Court ends some First Deal programs)
--NIRA is invalid b/c Congress has only power to make laws (Codes are "executive legislation"), set hours & wages, and regul. labor unions
(no intelligible principle)
Mistretta v. US
Maintained the Sentencing Reform Act to be constitutional and allowed it to remain in effect; Congress is allowed to employ the assistance of its coordinate branches
(there was intelligible principle)
INS v. Chadha
congress may not give itself the power of legislative veto because it violates the presentment clause (president must see all bills) and the bicameral requirement (both houses pass bill before it becomes a law);
Dissent for this case says it is parallel to the line-item veto, b/c even though Constitution doesn't say they can or it doesn't say they can't doesn't make it unconstitutional. Congress having the power of legislative veto is necessary for modern times.
Bowsher v. Synar
* Congress passed the Gram Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reducation Act. Act allowed comptroller (head of Congressional agency) to impose budget cuts when deficit reached a certain amt.
* HOLD: The Act was unconstitutional b/c
o it gave executive duties to a member that was not a part of the executive branch. this was an impermissible delegation to a legislative official of the executive power to carry out a law.
o It gave exeutive power to an officer who could be removed by Congress
• Did Lincoln act within his presidential powers defined by Article II when he ordered the seizures absent a declaration of war?
• Majority: Grier
• War was present; the president is commander in chief and has the authority to take this action.
• The President had the power to act. A state of civil war existed de facto after the firing on Fort Sumter-Though neither Congress nor the President can declare war against a state of the Union, when states waged war against the United States government, the President was "bound to meet it in the shape it presented itself, without waiting for Congress to baptize it with a name."
Ex Parte Milligan
Supreme Court decided that the suspension of habeas corpus was unconstitutional because civilian courts were still operating, and the Constitution of the United States (according to the Court) only provided for suspension of habeas corpus if these courts are actually forced closed. In essence, the court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even during wartime.
Ex Parte Quirin
President in Wartime (The President did not exceed his rights)
These cases concern Operation Pastorius, a failed attempt in June 1942 by Nazi agents to sabotage various U.S. targets. Following the declaration of war between the United States and Germany, eight German residents, Richard Quirin, Ernst Burger, George Dasch, Herbert Haupt, Heinrich Heinck, Edward Keiling, Herman Neubauer, and Werener Thiel, received training on sabotage at a school near Berlin. Shortly after the landings, Burger and Dasch backed out of the mission. Dasch turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. All eight conspirators were subsequently arrested and, on the orders of President Franklin Roosevelt, tried by military commission. The commission found all eight men guilty and sentenced them to death. Arguing that the President exceeded his power in ordering the commission and that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution protect their rights to a regular trial, seven of the eight conspirators, not including Dasch, filed petitions for a writ of habeas corpus in Federal District Court. Their claims were denied, and they appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Before the court ruled, however, they filed for hearing before the Supreme Court and, separately, filed petitions for habeas corpus directly with the Court. The Court, sitting in a special term, agreed to hear the cases.
No. In a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Harlan Fisk Stone, the Court concluded that the conspirators, as spies without uniform whose purpose was sabotage, violated the law of war and were therefore unlawful enemy combatants. Noting that Congress had, under the Articles of War, authorized trial by military commission for unlawful enemy combatants, the Court therefore determined that the President had not exceeded his power. Furthermore, the Court asserted that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments "did not enlarge the right to jury trial" beyond those cases where it was understood by the framers to have been appropriate. Therefore, because the amendments cannot be read "as either abolishing all trials by military tribunals, save those of the personnel of our own armed forces, or, what in effect comes to the same thing, as imposing on all such tribunals the necessity of proceeding against unlawful enemy belligerents only on presentment and trial by jury," the rights of the conspirators were not violated.
Korematsu v. US
1944 Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court upheld the order providing for the relocation of Japanese Americans. It was not until 1988 that Congress formally apologized and agreed to pay $20,000 2 each survivor
Ex Parte Endo
Ex parte Mitsuye Endo was a United States Supreme Court decision, handed down on December 18, 1944, the same day as their decision in Korematsu v. United States. In their decision, the Supreme Court ruled that, regardless of whether the United States Government had the right to exclude people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast during World War II, they could not continue to detain a citizen that the government itself conceded was loyal to the United States.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer
also commonly referred to as The Steel Seizure Case, was a United States Supreme Court decision that limited the power of the President of the United States to seize private property in the absence of either specifically enumerated authority under Article Two of the United States Constitution or statutory authority conferred on him by Congress. [During Korean War]
Dames & Moore v. Regan
(1986) authority to settle legal claims w/ implied approval. President Carter cut a deal with Iran to have American hostages released. The deal mandated that all existing legal claims against Iran or its citizens were to be dismissed from court and adjudicated and heard at a special international claims tribunal. In addition, all Iranian assets in the U.S. were to be unfrozen. _____ had an existing legal claim against several Iranian banks and moved to have President Carter's action deemed unconstitutional, asserting that Congress had not explicitly approved such action against American private property interests and that the powers to settle legal claims are not listed among the President's Article II powers.
Ruling: This was Constitutional with the passing of the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949. Congress' stamp of approval
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
was a U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing the dismissal of a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen being detained indefinitely as an "illegal enemy combatant". The Court recognized the power of the government to detain unlawful combatants, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the ability to challenge their detention before an impartial judge
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Constitutional Law Pre-Midterm 1 Cards
psc test 1
Constitutional Law Exam 1
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
Chapter 3 Psyc
Psychology Chapter 03
AP PSYCH Unit 3
OTHER QUIZLET SETS
321 test 3
PAST PAPER QUESTIONS
concepts e4 adaptive/immunity
raceways and fittings module test