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Constitutional Law I
Santa Clara University School of Law
Armstrong, Margalynne J.

Armstrong Con Law I Spring 2013

A. Article III

a. Creates the federal judiciary and defines its powers through seven main topics

i. The judicial power of the US, shall be vested” created the federal judicial system

ii. One Supreme Court and inferior courts that congress can ordain and establish

iii. All federal judges get life tenure

iv. Define the judicial power in terms of cases and controversies

1. To vindicate and enforce powers of the government

2. Federal courts act as an umpire between states and their citizens

v. Allocation of the judicial power

1. Supreme court has original jurisdiction over cases affecting:

a. Ambassadors

b. Public

c. Ministers

d. Consulates

e. States are a party

2. All other cases the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction

vi. Trial by Jury

1. EXCEPT impeachment

vii. Treason

1. Two witnesses or confession in open court

B. Authority for Judicial Review

a. The Constitution is silent on whether Courts have authority for Judicial review

b. Marbury v. Madison

i. Facts:

1. Midnight appointments,

2. Jefferson did not want to uphold Adam’s appointment

3. Madison wanted the court to uphold his appointment- constitution was silent as to whether or not they could hear the case

ii. Holding: The Supreme Court has the power, implied from Article 6 section 2 of the Constitution to review acts of Congress and if they are found repugnant to the Constitution declare them void

iii. Established Judicial Review

1. For judiciary to review constitutionality of executive and legislative acts

iv. Justification for Constitutional Supremacy

1. Nature of a written constitution

2. Legislative power cannot be the supreme power

3. Text of Constitution

a. Article III Section 2

i. Judicial power to hear cases arising under the constitution

b. Article III Section 3

i. Directive to the court (two witnesses as evidence of treason requirement)

C. Authority for Judicial Review of State and Local Actions

a. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee

i. Federal Courts may hear appeals brought from state court decisions

ii. Justice Story articulated the court’s authority to review state court’s judgments

1. Uniformity of interpreting statutes and treaties

2. Constitution expressly gives appellate power

3. Lifetime appointments, therefore, lots of experience, must but the best at the job

b. Cooper v. Aaron

i. Facts: Can’t avoid desegregating schools

ii. Court has authority to review constitutionality of state laws and their enforcement by state officials

1. State constitution and enforcements cannot go against constitutional grounds

D. Justiciability

a. Advisory Opinions

i. Article III, Section 2- limits the power of the judicial branch to cases and controversies

ii. There must be:

1. An actual dispute between adverse litigant with specific injuries

2. Decision will result in a change or effect

iii. Why no advisory opinions:

1. Maintains separation of powers

2. Conservation of judicial resources

3. Actual cases will be heard but NOT hypothetical questions

iv. All other justiciabilty doctrines enforce the prohibition on advisory opinions

v. Example:

1. Washington wanted advice on neutrality and treaties, but the justices said they can only listen to cases and controversies ONLY and advice it outside the scope of the judicial branch

b. Standing

i. Determination of whether a specific person is the proper party to bring a matter to the court for adjudication

1. 3 Constitutional Requirement

a. Injury in Fact

i. Concrete and particularized

1. MA v. EPA

a. Only one plaintiff needs standing, not all parties

b. Supreme court justified hearing because of global warming

2. Chilling Effect- changing your behavior because of possibility of prosecution

b. Actual or imminent injury

i. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife

1. Crazy travelers wanting to see elephants in Egypt wanted the Secretary of Interior to consult before taking action

2. World wide ≠ standing because of general grievances

ii. Organizational Standing

1. Organization can assert injury so long as any of its members may do so and claims relevant to organization’s purpose

c. Distinct and palpable injury

d. Causation

i. Defendant’s illegal action is legal/actual cause of plaintiff’s injury

1. Allen v. Wright

a. Couldn’t show that denying tax deduction would actually cause school to change policy

ii. Traceable to challenged action

iii. Not result of independent third party action

e. Redressability

i. Injury will be redressed by favorable decision

ii. Remediable by court

iii. If can’t alleviate it will be ONLY and advisory opinion

2. Prudential

a. No third party standing

i. Exceptions:

1. Legally recognized next friend

a. Close the relationship the greater the identity of the interests

2. Overbreadth Doctrine:

a. Way to assert rights of people not before court because of first amendment rights (Don’t want to chill free speech)

b. Craig v. Boren-à WTF?

ii. No generalized grievances

1. No taxpayer standing


i. Need to establish

1. Applies to Constitutional spending that violates the Establishment Clause

2. Plaintiff must show Congress violated a particular constitutional provision with an expenditure

iii. Zone of Interest

1. Must be within the interest protected or regulated by statute (think negligence per se)

c. Ripeness

i. Seeks to prevent premature adjudication because the injury is speculative

1. Has the injury actually occurred yet?

d. Mootness

i. Litigants who had standing when suit started are deprived of a

anches [all phases of business, navigation included] and is regulated by prescribing rule carrying that intercourse

ii. What is among the states?

1. Powers can extend to intrastate if it affects interstate activities

2. Commerce that concerns more than one state

3. Requires case by case inquiry

4. Court must decide how direct or substantial the effects must be

iii. Does state sovereignty limit congressional power?

1. Congress has complete authority to regulate all commerce among the states

2. When acting under commerce authority can act as if not state government exist BUT states retain GPP

ii. The Limiting Period

1. SCOTUS consisted of conservative justices who were opposed to government economic regulations

a. Dagenheart- child labor case

i. States have authority to regulate working hours to children as long as production/manufacturing does not cross state lines

iii. Expansive Period

1. New Deal Effect

a. NLBR v. Steel- steel laborers

i. labor would have substantial effect on interstate commerce

b. Darby- lumber

i. Overturned Dagenheart

ii. Production of goods destined for interstate commerce can be regulated because of shipment out of state

c. Wickard- wheat for personal use

i. Grew too many bales of wheat and wouldn’t be buying from market

ii. Congress can regulate because of cumulative effect on interstate market

2. Overall Holding of three cases above= Substantial Effect Test

a. Commerce includes all phases of business

b. No longer distinguished on direct or indirect effect on interstate commerce but CUMULATIVE effect on interstate commerce

c. Thus, substantial effect on commerce

3. Civil Rights Effect and applying the holdings above- Amendment 14 (Granted Congress the power the enforce Post Civil War amendments- especially Blacks’ rights)

a. Heart of Atlanta

i. Racial discrimination looked at cumulative has an effect on interstate commerce (blacks need a place to stay when traveling between states)

b. Katzenbach v. McClung

i. BBQ restaurant

ii. Ingredients traveled through stream of commerce (blacks also need a place to eat when traveling)

4. Substantial Effects Test Applied to Criminal Law

a. Even where loansharking credit activity is purely interstate in character it directly affects interstate and foreign commerce