Constitutional Law I
Professor Ed Steinman
I. The nature and sources of the Supreme Courts Authority
a. Marbury v. Madison
i. The judiciary of the United States has authority in all matters arising out of the constitution and notwithstanding the orders of the legislature or executive branch, the Judicary has the power and authority to uphold the constitution notwithstanding the fact
b. Constitutional Clauses
c. Limits on Constitutional Adjudication- POLITICAL QUESTIONS
i. Baker v. Carr
1. Matters in which the Court is called upon to decide a political issue are found to be nonjusticable as they diminish the separation of powers between the judiciary and the legislature; however, where the political action of a state is inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, notwithstanding the fact the question may have political ramifications, the judiciary has the power and authority to rule.
2. 14th amendment questions are typically not political questions
ii. The Political Question Doctrine
iii. Nixon v. United States
d. Limits on Constitutional Adjudication- CASE OR CONTROVERSY: Standing, ripeness, Mootness
i. Rule against Advisory Opinions
iii. Mootness & Non-ripeness
e. Supreme Court authority to review State decisions
f. May Congress strip the court of its jurisdiction?
i. Ex Parte McCardle
1. The Supreme Court dismissed this case due to a lack of jurisdiction explaining that while the appellate powers of the court are given by the Constitution (as opposed to the judicial act), Congress has the discretion to limit the appellate jurisdiction and accordingly, by repealing the appellate jurisdiction from circuit courts, the Congress was within its power to limit the jurisdiction. The court was very careful however, to limit the lack of jurisdiction consistent with the act so that ONLY appeals relating to Habeas from circuit courts is denied
II. Structure: Nation and States in the Federal System
a. McCulloch v. Maryland
to make good their losses in pay, and to post notices. The court reversed, ruling that the National Labor Relations Act was a proper exercise of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, that employees had a right to self-organization, and that discrimination and coercion to prevent exercise of this right was a proper subject for condemnation by legislative authority. The court further ruled that the Act applied to respondent’s employees who were engaged exclusively in production because intrastate activities that were closely connected to interstate commerce were subject to regulation by Congress. The court also ruled that the Act did not violate the Fifth Amendment or the Seventh Amendment.
ii. United States v. Darby
1. Whether Congress has constitutional power to prohibit the shipment in interstate commerce of lumber manufactured by employees whose wages are less than a prescribed minimum or whose weekly hours of labor at that wage are greater than a prescribed maximum?