CON-LAW I OUTLINE – JOONDEPH – F2008
I. THE AUTHORITY OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
a. Marbury v. Madison:
i. Rule: Established the authority of the SC to review the constitutionality of federal executive actions and of federal statutes (legislature). This has been the state of the law ever since even though the Const. is silent on the issue.
b. Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee:
i. Rule: Established the authority of the SC to review state ct. decisions.
c. Cohens v. Virginia:
i. Rule: Reaffirmed the authority of the SC to review state ct. judgments. It elaborated by saying that criminal Ds could seek SC review when they claimed that their conviction violated the Const.
II. LIMITS ON THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL POWER
a. Congressional Limits
i. Art. III provides “SC shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and Fact, w/such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” – Exceptions Clause
1. How may congress use this authority? Two main views on the debate today:
a. Some believe that Congress has broad powers to remove matters from the SC’s purview as a check on the judiciary’s power.
b. Others believe that Congress could only create an exception to the SC’s jurisdiction for review of matters of fact, but Congress could not eliminate the Ct’s appellate jurisdiction for issues of law.
ii. Ex Parte McCardle
1. Rule: McCardle says that congress has broad authority to impose its exceptions on the judiciary appellate jurisdiction. The case also says that there is another way to get around Congress’s exception to get to the ct.
i. The Exception Clause allows congress to make exceptions to the S.C.’s appellate jurisdiction. Congress is not under any obligation to create inferior cts. People have understood this to mean that the greater power gives rise to the lower power. – The greater power to create the cts invites the lesser power to control jurisdiction. There is a broad power to regulate the jurisdiction of lower cts by congress then. There is a question about whether congress can dictate a certain result. S.C. says no
ii. US v. Klein
1. Rule: Congress cannot prescribe a rule of decision in a pending case. Congress cannot tell cts. How to decide cases that are before them b/c it does away w/ the reason for the judical branch.
2. Klien applies in a situation where Congress directs the judiciary as to decision making under an existing law and does not apply when Congress adopts a new law.
b. Justiciability Limits:
i. Art. III §2 authorizes federal cts to hear several types of “cases and controversies” that the SC has interpreted as giving rise to a series of limits on the federal judiciary power referred to as justiciability doctrines.
ii. The justiciability doctrines determine which matters federal cts can hear and which must be dismissed.
iii. There are five major Justiciability Doctrines. All must be met for any federal ct, at any level, to hear a case.
1. Prohibition against advisory opinions,
5. Political Questions doctrine
iv. Prohibition of Advisory Opinions
1. Characteristics that must be present in a lawsuit to avoid being an advisory opinion:
a. 1) There must be an actual dispute btwn adverse litigants.
b. 2) There must be a substantial likelihood that the federal ct decision in favor of a claimant will bring about some change or have some affect.
2. Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc.
a. Rule: Once a judgment becomes final, congress cannot undue it retroactively. The judiciary cannot rehear a case under these circumstances. This is b/c of the separation of powers
b. Under an injunction case, congress can change the underlying laws.
3. Other means of Congressional influence?
a. What else structurally could congress do?
b. take away standing
c. appropriations (withhold funding to the cts by taking away secretarys, clerks, computers, etc . . . )
d. Appointments – senate confirms or consents to the appointment of S.C. justices.
e. Meeting times –
f. propose Const. amendments to undue S.C. opinions.
g. add judges, or judgeships
4. Federal cts are not to provide “advisory opinions”. AOs are basically advise that does not give a final judgment. If the final word of the judicial dept is reviewable, then it becomes an advisory opinion. States do not have to follow that rule.
1. Standing is the determination of whether a specific person is the proper party to bring a matter to the ct for adjudication.
2. 3 Const. reqs to Standing:
a. 1) Injury in Fact – the P must have a
i. concrete and particularized harm that is – it cannot be suffered by a large amount of people equally, too difuse. The people have to be particularized by objective standards from the general public. The fact that 10,000 other people were harmed in the same way does not in and of itself preclude them from standing as long as they have a concrete and particularized injury in some way
ii. actual or imminent – a matter of timing and how likely an event is to occur. Must show a likelihood of future harm.
The potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments.
b. Holding: allegations of a denial of equal protection are a justiciable const. cause of action even under the Guaranty Clause.
5. Don’t take the words of the doctrine too seriously, the doctrine is really a method that cts will use to avoid certain sticky questions. It is really a method of Const. avoidance or of not pissing of the executive or legislative branches.
6. Vieth v. Jubelirer
a. Not a majority opinion. 4 = nonjusticiable, 4=dissent, 1=non for now.
b. Rule: Political gerrymandering claims are nonjusticiable for now.
7. 3 of the more important areas where P? doctrine has been applied:
a. Challenges to restrictions on Congressional membership – where the P? doctrine was rejected;
b. Challenges to the President’s conduct of foreign policy; and;
c. Challenges to the impeachment process – where the P? doctrine was applied.
II. THE FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE POWER
a. Federal v. State Power
i. The Federal Governement has limited enumerated or implied powers in Const. only.
ii. The states have power to do what they want unless it is prohibited in the Const.
b. Art. I § 8
i. Art I § 8 has 18 clauses enumerating specific powers to Congress.
ii. Among those clauses is the commerce clause.
iii. Commerce Clause: “The Congress shall have the power … to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and w/ the Indian Tribes . . .”
c. Necessary and Proper
d. McCulloch v. Maryland
i. Sets out that the way to interpret Congress’s power in the Const. is broadly. Congressional powers are to be construed broadly, not just what is absolutely and specifically “necessary and proper”.
ii. Also declares that the fed gov is supreme over the states and that the states have no authority to negate fed actions.
iii. There are limits the ability of states to interfere w/Federal activities, such as by imposing taxes or regulations on the fed gov.