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Constitutional Law I
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Gonzalez, Carlos

Spring 2010

1.  Federal Judicial Power (Courts) – Article Three defines their powers
a.  Authority for Judicial Review
i.   Marbury v. Madison
1.  Creates authority for federal judicial review of federal legislative and executive actions
2.  Congress cannot expand the original jurisdiction of the supreme court except by amending the constitution
ii.  Martin v. Hunter Lesee
1.  Gives power to federal court to review state and local laws/courts and actions
2.  Can only review it insomuch as it is a federal matter
iii. Cohen v. Virginia
1.  Same as Martin, except it dealt with criminal matters
b.  Requirements for cases and controversies (Limits on Federal Judicial Power)
i.   Casebook Stuff
1.  Originalism v. Non-originalism
a.  D.C. v. Heller
i.   Struck down law prohibiting handgun possession in the home
ii.  Non-originalist view
2.  Limits that Congress can put on Judicial
a.  Can create/abolish federal district courts
b.  Three interpretations
i.   Wanted Congress to be a check on Judicial branch
ii.  Congress is limited in its ability to control it
iii. Couldn’t eliminate ability to review law, only fact
c.  Ex Parte McCardle
i.   Congress repealed act granting jurisdiction
ii.  Act wasn’t allowed anyway though because Congress can’t just create jurisdiction
3.  Judicial limits on Congress
a.  U.S. v. Klein
i.   Prevents Congress from determining questions of fact
ii.  Can change substantive law, but can’t keep it the same and tell courts how to rule
b.  Robertson v. Seattle Audubon Society
i.   Contrasts Klein
ii.  Congress can affect laws when making new laws
ii.  Justicability Doctrines – Required for Federal Courts to review a case
a.  Spendthrift Farm
i.   Court found statute of limitations barred a large class of people from bringing cases
ii.  Congress passed a law extending the statute of limitations
iii. Court said this isn’t allowable because Congress is basically getting involved in the judicial process by rendering the prior decision moot
2.  Standing – Most Important of the Justicability Doctrines
a.  Is Plaintiff proper party to bring a matter to the court for adjudication
i.   Injury
1.  Allen v. Wright
a.  IRS indirectly allowed discriminatory schools to remain discriminatory
b.  Black people didn’t have standing because it didn’t constitute an actual injury
2.  Mass. v. EPA
a.  State had standing to force EPA to do something to take care of rising sea level
3.  Must allege and prove that they have been or imminently will be injured
a.  Can only assert personally suffered injuries
b.  Sierra Club v. Morton
i.   Disney was building a ski resort
ii.  Sierra sued to stop them
iii. Sierra lacked standing because no members of Sierra were shown to use the site where the ski resort was to be built
4.  Plaintiff seeking injunctive or declaratory relief must show likelihood of future harm
a.  LA v. Lyons (Chokehold Case)
i.   Someone was pulled over and an officer used a chokehold on him and almost killed the driver
ii.  He sued to try to ban the liberal use of the practice
iii. He lacked standing because he couldn’t show it would be likely that he would personally be choked again
5.  Stigmatic Harm is not good enough (Racist Schools with Tax Benefits
6.  Lujan v. Wildlife – lady wanted to go site seeing, no standing
7.  U.S. v. Hayes – Gerrymandering – can only sue if you’re in the district that’s racially gerrymandered
ii.  Causation and Redressability
1.  Plaintiff must allege and prove that defendant caused the injury so that a favorable court decision is likely to remedy the injury
a.  Article 3 basically forbids federal courts from issuing advisory opinions
i.   If the ruling has no effect on the plaintiff, then it is an impermissible advisory opinion
b.  e.g. For hospitals to have a tax exempt status, they needed to give free care to poor people (determined by federal statute). IRS issued a rule that allowed them to have tax exempt status regardless; poor people sued IRS after being denied free care, but they couldn’t show standing; even if they won, hospitals might give up their status rather than give free care
c.  Linda v. Richard – illegitimate child support case – no standing
d.  Warth v. Seldin – low income housing case
e.  Duke Power v. Carolina environmental study group – Limited liability of nuclear explosion – found standing because the potential injury is great
iii. No third party standing is allowed
1.  Plaintiff can’t present claims of others
2.  Exceptions – If all other standing requirements are met (ALL MUST BE MET)
a.  Allowed if close relationship between plaintiff and injured 3rd party
i.   Doctors might be able to sue for abortion patients (medicaid issue)(Wulff)
ii.  Father wasn’t allowed to sue for daughter because he didn’t have legal custody (mother had legal custody)
iii. Craig v. Borne – Bartenders suing for their customers
iv.Barrows v. Jackson – white people wanted to sell to black people but covenant didn’t allow this, white people were allowed to sue
v.  Mother wanted to sue for son on death row. Mother didn’t have standing
b. Allowed if injured 3rd party is unlikely to assert their own rights
iv.No generalized grievances are allowed – Not generalized just because many people or everyone suffers an injur

is no reasonable situation where the offender could start it again)
1.  If defendant voluntarily halts offending practice, but is free to resume it at any time, the case will not be dismissed as moot
2.  Employer uses discriminatory test, gets sued, and claims that it will never use it again; legally, employer can start up anytime, case will go on
iii. Class action suits
1.  So long as there is at least one member of the class with an ongoing injury, even if name plaintiff is dismissed under mootness
5.  Political Question Doctrine
a.  Refers to allegations of constitutional violations that federal courts won’t decide; these are matters for the elected branch of the government
i.   Cases under the republican form of government clause
1.  Article 4 Section 4 – US shall guarantee to each state a republican form of government; Government where people would elect representatives and said representatives would make the law
ii.  Challenges to President’s conduct of foreign policy
1.  See Vietnam War
iii. Challenges to impeachment and removal process
1.  1993 Nixon v. US (not the president
2.  Walter Nixon, a federal district court judge who was impeached by House of Representatives; Nixon wanted whole senate to sit and try him; Supreme Court said it was a political question
iv. Challenges to partisan gerrymandering –
v.  Reapportionment cases are allowed now
Federal Legislative Power (Congress)
2.What is commerce?
What does among the several states mean?
Does Tenth Amendment Limit
a.  Congress’s Authority to Act – Article I & Article X
i.   Congress may act only if there is express or implied authority
1.  No general federal police power
a.  States and local governments have the police power – They can do anything not prohibited by the constitution
2.  If power is there, does it violate another portion of the constitution
3.  McCullough v. Maryland- State can’t tax federal government or pass laws that prevent federal actions from having the intended effect
a.  Holding – Congress can make bank because it’s implied; Maryland can’t tax because it isn’t a separate sovereign
b.  Rational Basis test comes out of this