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Constitutional Law I
University of Illinois School of Law
Mathews, Jud

Constitutional Law
Spring 2013
1.      Our History
a.       The Constitution is very short, and very old 225 years old, hence the need for amendments, and it is hard to change 27 total amendments
b.      Article 3 vests power in courts as congress sees fit 9 justices
c.       Supreme court does not only hear constitutional cases
2.      The Power of The Judicial Review
a.       Authority of the judiciary to review acts, but has existed since Marbury
b.      Marbury v Madison
                                                              i.      The SCOTUS has authority to review acts of Congress and determine if they are unconstitutional
                                                            ii.      Congress CANNOT expand the scope of SCOTUS original jurisdiction beyond article III, in all other cases SCOTUs has appellate jurisdiction
                                                          iii.      Article III is the minimum amount of jurisdiction
                                                          iv.      Where is the check on the judicial branch
                                                            v.      Where there is a right there is a remedy
c.       Martin V Hunter’s Lessee
                                                              i.      Two parcels of land one owned by a loyalist and not clear who owned land
                                                            ii.      Does the U.S. Supreme Court have appellate jurisdiction over state court decisions involving federal law?
1.      Yes Article III.2.2
a.       Condition doesn’t say that congress has to create federal courts besides the supreme court, thus there might only be the existence of one federal court, meaning they would have to be appealed to supreme court
d.      Cohen’s v Virginia 1821
                                                              i.      Cohen try to sell DC lotto tickets in VA
1.      Since it was a criminal case VA tried today SCOTUS couldn’t review cram appeals, they said YES WE CAN
3.      Standing (Article III Case or Controversy)
a.       A court must have jurisdiction and the matter must be justiciable
                                                              i.      Justifiability (suitable for resolution by the court)
1.      Prohibition on advisory (ripeness and mootness) opinions, standing, and political question          
b.      Jefferson’s Question
                                                              i.      Tried to ask the SCOTUS a question to get an advisory opinion
1.      Court would not answer citing separation of power, this is where we get no advisory opinion
c.       Hay burns Case
                                                              i.      Revolutionary war vets trying to claim pensions, and sec of war was going opt refuse lower judges opinion, so SCTOUS didn’t give opinion
d.      **Exception to advisory opinion is declaratory judgment**
                                                              i.      No federal court
e.       Allen v Wright
                                                              i.      Tax-exempt statutes for racially discriminatory private school
1.      No status for stigmatizing injury, not injured because they didn’t try to get admittance to the schools
                                                            ii.      We want parties who are involved in the suit, not third parties
                                                          iii.      What is required for standing
2.      (Prudential rules can be overridden by congressional statute) Judge made rules: can’t bring someone else’s rights or generalized grievances, tax payer grievances, interests protected by the law and votes
                                                          iv.      Stigmatic injury only applies to people who have been injured (ie. People who apply and get rejected)
f.       *Lujan v Defenders of Wildlife
                                                              i.      When interest or harm is to speculative it will not trigger article III to adjudicate
                                                            ii.      Actual nexus
                                                          iii.      Actual and immanent harm
                                                          iv.      Nexus must be close and must meet Constitional and Prudential requirements
g.      Elk Grove v Endow
                                                              i.      Third party standing is sometimes permissible if there is good reason (here endow does not have legal rights to daughters education)
                                                            ii.      Good examples of standing being used to manipulate who can have a case heard
h.      Hein v Freedom From Religion Foundation (Establishment Clause- bring no religion)
                                                              i.      Paying taxes is not nearly enough to give standing
1.      Executive branch money can go anywhere vs. congressional directed spending (separation of powers)
2.      Different than FLAST (Establish Clause –religion) – when congress spends money in violation of your rights that DOES grant right to sue
a.       When should the court apply stare decks (generally):
                                                                                                                                      i.      Except in cases when 1) wrongly decided 2) outlier in law 3) there aren’t significant reliance
Congress till controls the purse strings, direct to vote like congress out if they don’t like it
4.      Political Question Doctrine
a.       Baker v Carr (hadn’t been changed since 1900 census)
                                                              i.      Redistricting is NOT a political question
                                                            ii.      Courts CAN step in equal protection clause, one person one vote, they are being denied qual protection by being under represented
                                                          iii.      Normally brought under guarantee clause, but this was the first to be brought under equal protection
                                                          iv.      Political Questions- textual commitment by the condition, political gerrymandering – there are no manageable judicial standards (ethnic or racial gerrymandering is justiciable one man one vote), situations where deciding the case would bring the court into an awkward situation with the other branches
The factors to be considered by the court in determining whether a case presents a political question are:
Is there a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department (i.e. foreign affairs or executive war powers)?
Is there a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving the issue?
The impossibility of deciding the issue without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for no judicial discretion.
The impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government.
Is there an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made?
Would attempting to resolve the matter create the possibility of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question?
                                                              i.      Is purely political gerrymandering justiciable?
1.      NO
2.      It is not possible for the court to formulate a way or manner in which lines should be drawn up, best left to legislature
3.      Don’t want to settle contentious issues of this sort
c.       Powell v McCormack
                                                              i.      The house can only judge Citizenship, age, and residence
                                                            ii.      Everything else is left to other branches of government
                                                          iii.      It is explicit in the condition Art I sec 2 member qualification, condition left it to another branch court says
11.  Federal Legislative Power
a.       Article 6 Supremacy Clause
                                                              i.      Valid federal law always trumps state law
b.      McCulloch v Maryland
                                                              i.      Congress has power to do things that aren’t specifically enumerated in the constitution.
                                                            ii.      Article I Sec 8. Necessary and Proper clause allows the Gov. to do just that
                                                          iii.      There is nothing in t

                                                        iii.      Local character of the activity or the adoption for moral reason
b.      Katzenbach v McClurg (1964 Civil Rights Resurarant segregation)
                                                              i.      The power to regulate local business activity if any part of it affects interstate commerece, if the aggregate of activirt of that industry has substancial effect on interstate commerce.     
                                                            ii.      Key*** THe court says that where we find as the legislatures… Have a rational basiss for a regualtory scheme we are at an end….*** We are going ot defer to congresses determination that this is going ot promote commerce, so long as there is a rational basis that there will be a requisite effect on commerce
                                                          iii.      “Where we find that the legislators, in light of the facts and testimony before them, have a rational basis for finding a chosen regulatory scheme necessary to the protection of commerce, our investigation is at an end.”
                                                          iv.      If any part of the industry
                                                            v.      If other business similarly situated did this would it effect commerce
c.       US v Lopez (1995 Gun Free School Zone Act)
                                                              i.      The act exceeds the authority of the comerece clause
                                                            ii.      Congress can regulate under three authorities under commerce
1.      a) the use of the channels of interstate commerce;
2.      b) Congress is empowered to regulate and protect the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, or persons or things in interstate commerce, even though the threat may come only from intrastate activities; and
3.      c) Congress’ commerce authority includes the power to regulate those activities having a substantial relation to interstate commerce, i.e., those activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. (pro consump dist)
                                                          iii.      Conclusion, there are limits and this is not a strong enough nexus to allow it, the court outlines the powers, and this is not enough, no economic activity involved here   commerece economic activity
d.      Gonzales v Raich
                                                              i.      (Compassionate Use Act, CA Law)
1.      The commerece clause gives Congress authority to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana, despite state law to the contrary
2.      Something need not be legal  or have direct power to regulate it  having a gun is harder to draw reference to economics, but it is closer to the nexus in buying and selling drugs
3.      A jurisdictional hook would have helped *
14.  Constitutionality of PPACA (Obamacare)
a.       Know the basic arguments  of both sides
b.      The statute is trying ot regulate health inurance (the terms of access to insurance) and it also requires people in teh market to have insurance
c.       Congress has never regulated inactivity as opposed to activity
                                                              i.      The comerece clasue DOES NOT make people do things
                                                            ii.      Inactivity IS NTO part of commerece clause
d.      Power granted in Art 1 sec 8+ Power to enforce amerndnemnts + powers under treaties – 10 amendments limits – 11 amendments limits = powers of congress