Select Page

Constitutional Law I
South Texas College of Law Houston
Bergin, Kathleen

Jurisdiction – Can the court hear this case?
·         Sources:
o        Original Art III Enumerated Jurisdiction – Cases involving states as parties and foreign nations. Cannot be added to by congress except by amendment
§         Art III § 2(1) – types of cases can hear
§         Art III § 2(2) – original defined and finite, congress can add exclusions and amendments to appellate jurisdiction (ex parte McCardle)
o        Can hear appellate from state court (Martin v. Hunter Leassee)
§         Plaintiffs choose where case heard, if state is chosen, then defendant cannot get review by federal, then that would not be fair. Also can’t have different states have different interp
o        Art VI: sets forth hierarchy. Fed law is supreme: Constitution>Fed Statute> Treaties > State Law. See pre-emption.
o        Analyze constitution – Marbury v. Madison. Determine what constitution says. Establishes Congress’ limits to constitution. To exceed constitution must change it by amendment. McCullough v. Maryland. Court finds that 10th amendment is no bar to implied powers in “necessary and proper” clause.
§         Written const: analyze text
§         Structure: enumerated rights v. restrictions
§         Function: what effects?
§         Natural law?
§         International Law?
§         Historical practice?
·         Limits:
o        Art III – “Cases and Controversies” – Justiciability (no politics)
ú          No jurisdiction if the court isn’t going to decide a case for real.
§         Standing
ú          Injury in fact –
·         Concrete – Congress cannot simply give cause of action to citizen, must be constitutional.
·         Imminent – Nexus must be more direct that simply having something in

tion. One party withdraws issue, there may be other parties still violating statute.   Burden of mootness proof on defendant. Make sure permanent. So that defendant doesn’t turn off just to establish mootness for trial. Friends of Earth v. Laidlaw
ú          Exception: Certified Class action suits.
ú          Factors: need only 1 to establish non-justiciable.
·         1 textually committed to another branch – Nixon v. US
·         2 no judicially discoverable standard – baker v. carr
·         3 non-judicial policy determination
·         4 Lack of respect to coordinate branches
·         5 Previous political decision
6 Embarrassment from multiple pronouncements