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Constitutional Law I
University of Dayton School of Law
Conte, Francis J.

Con Law Outline
Spring 2007

Judicial Review

Writ of Mandamus-something to compel an official to do their duty

Original Jurisdiction-the first court to hear the case

Appellate Jurisdiction-power to review prior court decisions

Judicial Review-court looks to see if a law is constitutional

2 Ways to change constitution-
1. Judicial Review
2. Under Article 5 people can use “amendment rights” (RARE)

Article III § 2-allows supreme court original jurisdiction with ambassadors, states, consuls, etc.

-Also gives Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction in all other cases.

Exception Clause-with the exception of cases that Congress has said they cannot hear


Justiciable-the kind of case a court can render justice in(appropriateness for judicial decision)

Nonjusticiable-court cannot hear it
-Non-Justiciable if threes a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment conferred upon congress
-“Not right for the court to decide”

Guaranty Clause (art. 4)-States rights clause “the U.S. shall guarantee the states a republican government”

Political Question Doctrine-Separation of Powers Stuff within the federal govt.

Is there text that commits this to a branch of govt.
Lack of judicially discoverable/manageable standards for resolving it
Impossibility of deciding it without an initial policy decision that the court should not make
Court cannot resolve without a lack of respect to other branches
Unusual need to question a predetermine political question
Potential embarrassment of or from another branch due to this

Case or Controversy/Standing

To Show Standing:

Must show direct injury in fact-an invasion in a legally protected interest.

Must show causal connection-fairly traceable between injury and challenged action

Must be likely that it is redressable by court’s decision.

Standing-whether or not the litigant in entitled to have a court hear his case

Congress Can-under article III, enact or repeal laws that give courts jurisdiction.

Ripeness-case isn’t ready for dispute yet; maybe issues will ripen in the future.

Mootness-case has really already been resolved


Congress must demonstrate express and unequivocal intent to abrogate immunity.
Congress must have acted pursuant to a valid exercise of power i.e. a later amendment, etc.
Congress must show that the right that has been violated must have a congruent and proportional remedy.

Test of heightened scrutiny-there must be an exceedingly persuasive justification relating to a fed. Government interest in order to abrogate

Rational Basis Test-if there’s a rational basis the state can do it

Sovereign Immunity
-Sovereigns court cannot open suits against the sovereign, cannot sue unless they(the state) has consented to be sued.

Eleventh Amendment

-The judicial power shall not extend to suits against a state by citizens of another state.

-This is sovereign immunity in relations to citizens of other states not being allowed to sue other states.