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Constitutional Law I
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Macias, Steven J.

 
Constitutional Law
Prof. Steven Macias
Spring 2016
 
Judicial Power
Article III
§ 1 – “the judicial power of the U.S. shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish”
§ 2 – sets the jurisdiction of the fed. ct.(federal question) (diversity jurisdiction)
“the S.Ct. shall have original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party.In all other cases, the S.Ct. shall have appellate jurisdiction.”
“case” or “controversy” limitation on judicial power
Art. III Major themes (Have good rationales for how case should come out – always refer back to one of these themes)
Separation of Powers
Some conflict or dispute between the branches of the federal gov.
Federalism
Some conflict between a state gov. and the fed. gov.
Individual Rights
Some conflict w/a private party and either fed. or state gov.
 
 
The Scope of “the Judicial Power”
Ingraham v. Wright:
Marbury v. Madison (It is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary department to say what the law is)
Facts: New judicial appointments were properly signed by President Adams, but not served their commissions before President Jefferson took office.Jefferson refused to deliver the outstanding commissions.
Separation of powers case – respect for a coordinate branch is a paramount concern
Fed. court is a court of limited jurisdiction
Fed. jurisdiction cannot be expanded beyond the text of the Constitution (no jurisdiction in this case)
State court has general jurisdiction
Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (Power of S.Ct. review over state court decisions)
Virginia courts refused to obey the U.S. S.Ct. mandate that Virginia law, arguing the S.Ct. did not have the power to review state court judgments.
Justification:
Necessity of uniformity of decisions throughout the whole U.S. regarding the constitution
Cooper v. Aaron (Past S.Ct. decisions must be complied w/by state courts)
Gov. and Legislature of Arkansas claimed there was not a duty on state officials to obey federal court orders resting on the U.S. S.Ct. interpretation of the Constitution (Brown v. Board of Ed.)
Expanding Marbury – the interpretation of the 14th Amendment enunciated in the Brown case is the supreme law of the land and Art. VI makes it binding on the states
No state legislator or executive or judiciary officer can war against the constitution w/o violating his undertaking to support it
 
 
 
 
 
Limits on the Judicial Power
Separation of Powers – If a claim is not justiciable, then the issue is more likely fit for resolution by some other branch – one of the political branches – of gov.)
 
Justiciability – Judge made doctrines restricting the ability of courts to hear cases
Justifications
Protects federal judiciary’s (fragile) political legitimacy
Respects the political expertise of the other branches
Protects against self-interested decisions
Separation of powers
Critiques
By definition, constitutional questions are legal, not political
The fed. judiciary’s legitimacy is not fragile
Confuses deference w/abdication
 
Political Question Doctrine (The issue itself is unfit)- WE DIDN’T COVER THIS HERE MOVE!
Baker v. Carr (5 Suspicious Categories/Political Question Factors)- WE DIDN’T COVER THIS HERRE MOVE IT!
Facts: TN General Assembly failed to reapportion its legislative districts for 60 years, causing a citizen’s vote in one county to be either worth far more or less than another citizen’s vote in a different county.
Issue: EP Clause claim – “one person one vote” [Found to be nonjusticiable] 5 suspicious categories (Categories better left to other political branches)
Foreign relations
Dates of when hostilities end
Political process – how congress acts internally
Status of Indian tribes
Challenges brought under the Guarantee Clause
Factors to determine whether it is a political question:
Textually demonstrable commitment to a coordinate branch
Lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards
Impossibility of deciding w/o an initial policy decision
Impossibility of deciding w/o showing lack of respect for coordinate branch
An unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made
Embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question
Powell v. McCormack (Textual demonstrable commitment to another branch)- WE DIDN’T DO THIS HERE MOVE IT!
Facts: Powell was elected to the U.S. HR, but the House refused to seat him because of alleged misconduct. 
Issue: House argued the suit should be dismissed on “political question” grounds because the text of Art. I § 5 of the constitution gave the House, and the House alone, the power to determine who was qualified to be a member [Rejected by the Ct.] Holding: “qualification” are specifically laid out in other constitutional provisions, and Powell was not accused of failing to meet one of those qualifications (age, citizenship, residency)
 
The Case or Controversy Requirement
Rationales for prohibiting in fed. courts:
Separation of powers
Conservation of judicial resources
Insures adversaries will argue a concrete dispute
Advisory Opinions
Requirements for a case to be justiciable and not a request for an advisory opinion:
A live dispute – “actual controversy”
Judgment must have an actual effect on the parties
Opinion is advisory if another branch of gov. can revise the judgment of the court
Muskrat v. United States (No “actual controversy”)- WE DIDN’T GO OVER!  TAKE OUT!!
Facts: In 1902, Congress passed legislation setting aside lands for use of Cherokee Indians.  In 1904 and 1906, Congress passed laws allowing other Indians to share the land.  In 1907, Congress passed a law authorizing 4 named individuals, including Muskrat, to bring suit challengin

(3rd party standing)- MOVE IT! DIDN’T COVER IT HERE!!
Issue: Whether doctors who perform non-medically indicated abortions have standing to bring suit challenging a MO statute excluding abortions that are not medically indicated [Yes] P’s – physicians who performed such abortions
Legal Claim – the law violates women’s Roe v. Wade rights
Injury: lost money from Medicaid reimbursements
Causation & Redressability – P’s will recoup money from D’s if the law is struck down
Concerns w/jus tertii:
Ct. should not adjudicate such rights unnecessarily – holders of those rights may not wish to assert them or may enjoy those rights regardless if the in-court litigation is successful or not
3rd parties usually will be the best proponents of their own rights – Ct. depends on effective advocates of those rights
General Rule: One may not claim standing to vindicate the constitutional rights of some 3rd party
Applied if:
Relationship between the litigant and 3rd party is such where the litigant is fully, or very nearly, as effective a proponent of the rights of the 3rd party
Ability of the 3rd party to assert his own right – some genuine obstacle
Exceptions:
Special relationship between P and rights-holder
This case: doctor-patient
Genuine obstacle preventing the rights-holders from asserting their own claims
This case: obstacles of privacy and mootness
Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman (Congressional Created Standing) – MOVE IT!!
Facts: Havens Realty Corp (D) owned and operated 2 apartment complexes.Housing Opportunities Made Equal (P) sent to employees, Coleman (AA tester – P), and Willis (white tester – P) to make inquiries at Havens.On 4 separate occasions, Coleman was told no apartments were available, while Willis and another non-party was told the opposite
Fair Housing Act gave a statutory right to all persons to truthful information about housing
The actual or threatened injury required by Art. III may exist solely by virtue of statutes creating legal rights, the invasion of which creates standing
Sole requirement for standing is the Art. III minima of injury in fact – that the P allege that as a result of the D’s actions he suffered a distinct and palpable injury (Warth)
“Tester” standing
Yes – black tester
No – white tester
“Neighborhood” standing (jus tertii)
Potentially all P . . . upon further allegations