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Constitutional Law I
Rutgers University, Newark School of Law
Boddie, Elise C.

Prof. Boddie – Rutgers Law – Con Law Spring 2016 Outline

I.       Introduction:

•     The Case of Mohammad Jawed (BB)

II.      The Federal Judicial Power

A. The Authority for Judicial Review

Con. Art. III § 1, 2
Section 1: Supreme Court is supreme, all other courts are of the inferior nature.
Section 2:  clause 1: The Judicial Power shall extend to all cases, arising under the Constitution, the laws of the US and Treaties made, to all cases affecting ambassadors, to controversies to which the US may be a party, the controversies between two or more states, between citizens of diff states or between citizens here and of a citizen abroad.
Clause 2: court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors and                   other public ministers, in all other cases the sup court has appellate jurisdiction.

Art VI §2
the con and the laws of the US and treaties made, under the authority of the US shall be the supreme law of the land, shall be the supreme law of the land and judges in every State shall be bound by these laws.

Marbury v. Madison
Facts: Marbury was appointed Justice of the Peace by President John Adams.
When the new president, Jefferson assumed office he refused to fully finalize Adams’ appointments.
Relying on Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 Marbury brought an action in the US Sup Court, seeking a writ of mandamus.
Holding: Marbury does have a right to his commission as he was lawfully appointed and confirmed by Senate. Marbury is entitled to a remedy under fed law. BUT Congress did not have the authority to expand the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The Powers vested in the Sup Court are expressly given in the Con. This provision of the Act directly conflicts with Art III of the Con. Therefore jurisdiction over Marbury’s claim cannot be exercised.

Court tries to avoid the constitutional question by asking if the statute gives them the right to do this (this is a Constitutional Avoidance)
But the statute does give them the right so then the court must ask if the statute is con?
They say NO, it is not.
The Constitution is superior other federal law (Supremacy Clause!)
Congress cannot expand the authority of the courts.


Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee
VA argues State Supreme Courts are on the same level as the US Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court says no, the Supreme Court is superior to State Supreme Courts for the sake of uniformity. Supreme Court has final say.



B. Limits on Federal Judicial Power: Standing Doctrine

1.     Con Art III §2

Justiciability Doctrine
Restraints that the judiciary places on themselves.

1. Prohibitions on advisory opinions: this is when there is not a conflict between parties. There must be a controversy between two adversarial parties. Court can't just advise upon a law or policy.
2. Political Question Doctrine
3. Ripeness/mootness Doctrine: it needs to be a real contemporaneous problem. It cannot be a dispute that has not yet transpired.

Standing Doctrine
Standing vs. merits: if you don't have standing you cannot argue the merits. Standing doctrine is a judicial restraint.

1.     pl suffered or imminently will suffer an injury. Past injury insufficient to show future injury. Injury must be personal, distinct, concrete
2.     fairly traceable “causation”
3.     Redressability: a favorable court outcome will be likely to redress this injury. (can create SOP powers for court if this isn't met)

Prudential requirement for standing
•     may not sue as taxpayer, in common with all other taxpayers.
•     cant sue for another’s rights.
•     does the statute protect against this.

Generalized Grievances not sufficient for standing
Allen v. Wright
Facts: The Wright family and other parents of African American public school children (plaintiffs), brought a nationwide class action suit against Allen, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendants). The parents argued that the failure of the IRS to deny tax-exempt status to racially-segregated private schools caused injury to their children.
-lays out standing rules
-was not particularized harm – stigmatization of an entire group is not sufficient, need one -particular person to experience harm.
Rule of Law: To have standing to bring a lawsuit, plaintiffs must sufficiently allege that they have personally suffered a distinct injury, and the chain of causation linking that injury to the actions of a defendant must not be attenuated.
Court also offers a SOP argument that the relief the pl is seeking here would require them to rework an entire executive agency, which is outside the scope of court.



Lujan v. Defender’s of Wildlife
PL’s sue under Endangered Species Act, which allows citizen suit provision.
A plaintiff may not litigate a generalized complaint against the government based on harm suffered equally by all citizens. Standing under Article III of the Constitution contains three elements. First, a plaintiff must have suffered an actual injury. An injury in fact is “an

at must be malleable with the times?

2 questions to ask if the Congress has acted Constitutionally

1)     does congress have the authority to create the federal bank?
2)     if so, does it violate another constitutional provision or doctrine?

Did Congress have the power to establish the bank? YES
Did Maryland (state) have authority to tax the bank? NO

Issue #1:
Maryland argued:
•        Congress does not have the power to create the bank b/c it is not enumerated.
•        the states are the only true sovereign b/c the states were the ones to ratify the Con. The Con is the instrument of the states.
•        interprets the N+P clause very narrowly – it must be absolutely necessary. Thus, it is a limitation on Fed. power.

Marshall says:
•        Congress has express and implied powers even though they may not be enumerated b/c in the 10th Amendment it is not say the word “expressly” on purpose.
•        refers to the N+P clause for a broad interpretation of the Con.
•        congress may achieve its expressed ends by any means not prohibited within the Con.
•        The states are not above the Con, US govt is supreme within its sphere.

Necessary and Proper Clause is a power, it means whatever is necessary to execute Congress Powers. (contextual argument).  Necessary clause is in the congressional powers section, not the limitations section (this is a structural argument)


Issue #2:
Can Maryland tax the US bank?

Maryland says we always had the power to tax.

Marshall says:
•        The power to tax is the power to destroy. Through the Supremacy Clause, the US Bank is an instrument of the supreme power of the Supreme Con.
•        States cannot try to weaken a national instrument. If Maryland would not accept taxes from other states then cannot tax National Govt.

Enumerated Powers:
Commerce, taxing, and spending, as well as war, defense, and foreign affairs.


2. Commerce Power


1.     What is commerce?
2.     What is the meaning of “among the several states?”
3.     Does the 10th Amendment limit Congress?