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Constitutional Law I
University of California, Hastings School of Law
Short, Jodi L.

Short Conlaw Spring 2014

Con Law Outline

I: Can the Judicial Branch Review the Executive Branch?

R: The Supreme Court Can review Ministerial Actions of the Executive Branch

o Specific duty is assigned to an executive officer by law and individual rights depend on the performance of that duty.

R: Judicial Branch cannot review

· Political Questions

o Where the Executive officers are executing the Constitutionally invested discretion of the president (see Baker test)

§ The subject respects the nation, not individual rights

A: Discussed in Marbury v. Madison, but use Baker Test.

I: Congresses cannot expand the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction?

R: The Constitution (Art. III, Sec. 2, Cl. 2) establishes the court’s jurisdiction/ authority for judicial review.

R: Constitution explicitly gives court jurisdiction over all cases arising under the constitution (Art. III, Sec. 2. Cl. 1)

R: Constitution defines limits of Congress; a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law

A: In Marbury v Madison, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was ruled unconstitutional because it gave Congress the power to issue a writ of mandamus.

I: Is the matter justiciable?

R: There must be Standing and it cannot be a Political Question.

I: Was there Standing?


· Standing is the determination of whether a particular person is the proper party to present a particular issue to the court for determination.

· Standing is an issue only in cases seeking

o Injunctive or

o Declaratory relief

· Can be raised at any point

· P bears burden

· Supported by evidence

· When reviewing another branch of the gov’t, higher standard. If you want to distinguish Clapper, say case is not the same because Court was reviewing another branch’s action.

· Constitutional Requirements (Art III)

o Mandatory, cannot be overridden by Congress

§ Injury in Fact

· Concrete (affects you), not generalized grievance

o Generalized grievance – sometimes court understand particularly factor in terms of whether or not it is a generalized grievance. Generalized grievance raised in Lujan and Allen v. wright. Hollingsworth too

· Particular

· Actual (already happening) or Imminently, certainly impending

o A: Allen v. Wright, Tax Exemptions to segregated schools. Impaired ability to attend a desegregated school by encouraging segregated schools. The mere existence of these schools caused harm; created stigma. There was injury, but not personal, direct injury; not particular, not concrete. No third party standing.

o A:Lujan v Defenders of Wildlife, Not being able to see wildlife was injury, but it was not imminent because their plans to see the animals again was speculative. (Buy a plane ticket!)

o A:Lujan v Defenders of Wildlife (Generalized grievance?) If plaintiff is an organization, not an individual, they must establish “associational” or “representational” standing:

§ Member of the organization would have standing to bring the action

§ Lawsuit relates to the purposes of the organization

§ Claim asserted and relief requested do not require participati

A regulations can reduce environmental damage.

o Clapper v. Amnesty – Other methods may be used to intercept communications, not those listed in this particular statute; would not redress issue.

· Prudential Standing Principles (At Congress’s discretion)

o Cannot raise the claims of others

o May not sue as a taxpayer that shares a common grievance with all tax payers

o Court exercising judgment about the best use of its resources

o Not constitutionally required, can be overridden by Congress or disregarded by courts if prudential considerations in favor of hearing the case outweigh prudential considerations against hearing the case

o Prudential standing – sometimes court think it’s a good idea to make them apply, sometimes they think it is not. Congress can override these if they want to. Constitutional standing is mandatory and prudential is discretionary (may want to make argument if appropriate).

o Hollingsworth v. Perry

§ Petitioners’ injuries not particularized

§ More like a “generalized grievance” in proper application of the Constitution and laws

§ Harm to them is not different than the harm to any CA citizen’s interest in proper application of the Constitution and laws

§ CA Supreme Court decision does not make petitioners agents of the people of CA, and does not make their injuries particular