Constitutional Law flashcards, diagrams and study guides
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Case that upheld protective legislation on the grounds of women's supposed physical weakness Facts: Oregon enacted law that limited women to ten hours of work. Laundry business owner was fined $10 for violating that law. Q: Does Oregon law violate the 14th? Conclusion: Unanimous no! - distinguished Lochner v. New York (invalidated similar law on the basis of "difference between the sexes") - Court reasoned that child-bearing nature and social role of women provided a strong state interest in reducing their working hours.
Nebbia violated the New York Milk Control Law of 1933 that set a minimum retail price for milk. The law was adapted to combat the effects of the Great Depression. "Did the regulation violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?" NO. In favor of New York. 1. Price controls were not "arbitrary, discriminatory, or demonstrably irrelevant" to the policy adopted to promote the general welfare 2. Courts may not override policy decision by states unless rational basis review is not satisfied. Rational basis review (comes from the EPC of the 14th)- used for economic regulations, requires that the law is not unreasonable or arbitrary and also that there is a reasonable relationship between the law and the interest that it serves
Facts: 1923, Congress banned interstate shipment of "filled milk". Carolene products was indicted under the act. Carolene Products argues the law lacked rational basis + congress did not regulate butter fat substitues. Q: Was the Due Process of the 5th violated? Conclusion: Court upheld the act. Congress may restrict shipments of certain milk substitutes without restricting butter. The Act was necessary for public welfare. Carolene Products failed to meet its burden that no rational basis for the law existed. IMPORTANT: Footnote 4:
Martin v Hunter's Lessee (1816)
1. Denny Martin inherited land from Lord Fairfax, a British loyalist, in Virginia but the land was denied to him and granted to the apellant. 2. Martin claims that the land is rightfully his under Treaty of Peace with Great Britain in 1783 3. Supreme Court had previously ruled in Fairfax's Devisee v. Hunter's Lessee (1813) that the Virginia Courts could not deny British citizens their land rights, however Virginia Courts failed to abide by the decision claiming that Section 25 of the Judiciary Act which gives the Supreme Court jurisdiction over state supreme courts is unconstitutional
Is Section 25 of the Act unconstitutional or does the appellate power of the Supreme Court extend to the Virginia Courts?
1. Article 3 creates the federal Judiciary and defines its powers. 2. Supreme Court is created by the Constitution; the lower federal courts are created by Congress. Article 3 §1. 3. Supremacy Clause - Art. VI §1 cl. 2 "The Constitution, and the Laws of the United States... are the Supreme Law of the Land."
establishes the power of Judicial Review Principles: 1a. The Constitution is supreme law of the land - Supremacy Clause Art IV §1 2a. It is the role of the judiciary to interpret the Constitution. Court can review acts of Congress at issue before them and see if they violate the Constitution. "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." *Note how 1 and 2 work together. Constitution is supreme law, and Court is in charge of determining what the constitution says. **Narrow interpretation of holding is that court is an interpreter of constitution; broad interpretation of holding is court is supreme interpreter of constitution. Broad holding was affirmed in Cooper v. Aaron. 3a. Marbury establishes the power of the judiciary to review the constitutionality of executive actions. (Reaffirmed in United States v. Nixon) 4a. However, court does not have jurisdiction to review a political right - something within the president's discretion. (So the court has the jurisdiction to remedy a legal right, but not a political right.) 5a. Congress cannot increase the Supreme Court's Original Jurisdiction. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in cases involving ambassadors, ministers and consuls, and cases in which a state is a party. Article 3
clearly affirmed (or reaffirmed) broader holding in Marbury that S.C. is the ultimate or supreme interpreter of the constitution. Also, reaffirms constitution is supreme law of the land. Facts: Arkansas refused to desegregate schools. Governor of Arkansas had claimed he was not bound by court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Principle: Supreme Court is supreme interpreter of the Constitution. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution is binding on state legislatures and executive and judicial officers.
Describes an enumerated power listed in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The clause states that the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
The concept of the Dormant Commerce Clause is that if a statute passed by Congress is silent on a point of interstate or international commerce, states are free to pass legislation that might pertain to it as long as the state law does not discriminate against or inappropriately burden interstate commerce. The restriction is self-executing and applies even in the absence of a conflict between state and federal statutes, but Congress may allow states to pass legislation that might otherwise be forbidden by the Dormant Commerce Clause.
Constitutional law refers to rights carved out in the federal and state constitutions. The majority of this body of law has developed from state and federal supreme court rulings, which interpret their respective constitutions and ensure that the laws passed by the legislature do not violate constitutional limits.
[Federalism, Marshall] states can't tax the federal gov't because "the power to tax is the power to destroy"; guts 10th Amendment by interpreting it to leave open all the implied powers; [expands fed. power]
national, state, and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems, rather than making policies separately but more or less equally. Contract between people, not w/ states. Conceptualize the 10th Amendment as explicitly prohibiting some fields, but fair game for anything else, i.e. anything Constitution is silent on, it Congress's right to enforce. [established by McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)]
[Federalism, Taney] Dred Scott was a slave, no one but a citizen of the United States could be a citizen of a state; Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional b/c violates property rights; Court states that it not their job to determine the injustice or justice of it all [limits fed. power]
Textual - words of the con Structural - how the con. fits together (separation of powers) Historical - Original intent of the frmaers. (original meaning and traditions) (interpreted in accordance with history or background) Doctrine/precedent - what the court's have generally decided Ethical/National values/moral - Moral values Prudential/practical/pragmatic- What are the consequences of the ruling? (pragmatic consequences)
Sets up limited enumerated powers Article 1: sets out congress and grants them power to legislate and make laws. Article 2: executive branch, President, qualifications: Commander in chief, veto, appointments, treaties etc. Article 3: Judicial branch, creates the SC, defines SC jurisdiction
First decision to declare a federal law unconstitutional Established principle of judicial review - ability of courts to engage in review of legislative and executive actions SC has the power to review the constitutionality of the other branches The judiciary can compel the executive what to do if it concerns an administrative duty that the prez. owes Constitution is regulatory and limits congress Constitution is regulatory and imposes meaningful limits on the government Article 3 limits judicial power - court cannot exceed the constraints of article 3 even if congress says it can Judiciary can compel executive action of those things that are ministerial (when there is a duty owed to some person) Holding: marbury loses out b/c scotus said they couldn't rule on the case b/c they only had appellate jurisdiction and the case should have been in the lower court first. However section 13 was unconstitutional b/c he should not have been allowed to file directly in the SC. reasoning: Appointments never got delivered. Marshall makes an ethical argument Marshall's statement in Marbury v. Madison that it is "emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is," is perhaps the most oft-cited passage in the opinion.
Based on US and State Constitutions. Rights carved out in the federal and state constitutions.
Broad, general and somewhat indefinite in wording. Open to interpretation as to application of meaning.
More specifically worded
those who act in the furtherance of their positions as employeesof governmental agencies (i.e. public school teachers, policeofficers, county government employees,athletic directors at state universities)
-District Court (Found for Tarkanian) -State Supreme Court (Upheld the lower court ruling) -US Supreme Court (Ruled for NCAA) -Tarkanian stayed at UNLV & settled w the NCAA) -the NCAA is NOT viewed as a state actor
-District Court (Brentwood won) -State Supreme Court (Reversed) -US Supreme Court (Brentwood won) -the high school athletic association was viewed as a state actor
a political system in which the national government shares power with local governments.
Art. IV, Sec. 2, Clause 1. Prevents states from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner. Also, alludes to the allowance of interstate travel.
Art. IV, Sec. 1. The courts of one state will honor the judgments of the courts of another state without the need to retry the whole cause of action.
Congress can exercise "necessary and proper" powers not listed if they help carry out laws that are listed
Cannot discriminate; must treat everyone equally
Cannot establish "official" religion, creates wall of separation
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
establishment, freedom of religion, free press, free speech, free assembly
constitutions, statutes, common law/doctrine, administrative law, executive orders
Protects against unreasonable search and seizure
a law that prohibits the use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal trial.
No warrants shall be issued except for probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched or persons of things to be seized
Fire in the theatre case summary: Charles Schenck a socialist was giving out booklet protesting against the draft for ww1, he says that it is unconstitutional to draft, he was convicted of The ESPIONAGE ACT OF 1917. He argued back saying that his 1st amendment right is violated. -did the conviction violate his freedom of speech? nope -is the espionage act constitutional: yes R: - congress has wartime authority -clear and present danger preventable by Congress is not protected -speech like "fire " is not permitted under the first amendment I: -F.O.S is limited -more government pwr over ppl changes: -extended to the states ( Gitlow v. new york)
Interpretation of the First Amendment that holds that the government cannot interfere with speech unless the speech presents a clear and present danger that it will lead to evil or illegal acts.
sum: socialist Gitlow distributed the left wing manifesto and was convicted under the new york anarchy law and then he was brought to the court. The court rules that the free speech clause of the 1st amendment did not shield Gitlow from a conviction under the new york statute. P the government could punish speech that threatens its basic existence because of the national security implications. -though G did not violate the clear and present danger test, he was convicted under -Justice Edward Terry Sanford' embraced the BAD tendency test: found in Shaffer v. the United States, 255 F. 886 (1919), which held that a "State may punish utterances endangering the foundations of government and threatening its overthrow by unlawful means" I limited the freedom of speech furthered the case of Schenck v u.s citizen's freedom of speech is limited the government has more power