I. Federal Judicial Power
Authority for Judicial Review
Marbury v. Madison: Π sues Δ, Secretary of State in Supreme Court to get a writ of Mandamus to compel delivery of commission for federal bench. Δ: No jurisdiction to review executive branch decisions. Π: Judiciary Act of 1789 gives S. Ct. original jurisdiction. Court: Judiciary has the authority to review acts of congress; declare unconstitutional acts void. Judiciary Act granting jurisdiction nullifies Article III restricting jurisdiction to appellate only; unconstitutional court does not have original jurisdiction; cannot grant writ.
Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee: Question as to land ownership arises and is complicated by international treaty. VA S. Ct: Δ had title before treaty. Π appeals to S. Ct. Δ: S. Ct. cannot grant appellate review for state high court decision. Court: Supreme Court has jurisdiction; otherwise no cases unless congress est. lower courts, essential to uniform application of federal law; to stymie state prejudices
Cohens v. Virginia: Δ: no federal review of state court decisions, especially those involving criminal cases where state is a party. Court: Yes! state courts rely on state legislatures too much to protect federal rights.
Limits on Federal Judicial Power
Interpretive Limits: Originalists v. Living Constitution
RULE: Article 3 §2 “cases and controversies only” the following are prohibited:
Non-Advisory Opinions have:
1. an actual dispute between adverse litigants
2. substantial likelihood that a decision in favor of claimant will bring about change or have some effect
Hayburn’s Case: Congress adopts a law allowing Revolutionary War veterans to file pension claims in circuit courts. Court: Making determinations of pension “not of a judicial nature”, review by administrative official inconsistent with judicial independence.
Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc: Π brings a case relying on congressional act requiring courts to re-open cases involving SEC. Court: Revisiting old rulings under retroactive laws effectively gives congress power to check judiciary’s work, impinges on judicial right to make final judgment; violates separation of powers.
Nashville, C & St. L. RY v. Wallace: Π wants tax declared unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. Court If justiciable for an injunction then justiciable for declaratory judgment if retains the essentials of an adversary proceeding.
i. Constitutional Requirement interpreted from Article III:
1. Injury in Fact: Π must have suffered or imminently will suffer injury in fact
2. Causation: Π injury is fairly traceable to the Δ conduct
3. Redressability: favorable decision will redress injury(fact sensitive)
Allen v. Wright: parents of black children in public schools sue IRS over tax exemptions for private schools engaging in segregation Allege federal aid to racially segregated institutions interferes with desegregation efforts Court: No standing; No judicially cognizable injury; did not apply to schools receiving tax breaks; Weak chain of causation and cannot prove redressability
ii. Prudential Limitations (can be overridden by Congress)
1. Party may only address own rights, not third pa
iring label change; allege Commissioner lacked authority. Court: Issue is ripe because it is a pure question of law, impact on Π is direct immediate and nothing is to be gained by waiting.
United Public Works v. Mitchell: P (federal union) seek declaratory judgment that Hatch Act forbidding their involvement in political campaigns is unconstitutional because it violates 1st Amendment rights Court decides claim is not ripe because hardship is hypothetical and activities are not specific enough
International Longshoreman’s . . . Union v. Boyd: aliens going to work in Alaska for summer want declaratory judgment that they will not be prevented from re-entering US Court: claims is not ripe hardship was hypothetical and Alaska is not a state.
Regional Rail Reorganization Act Cases – RRs bring suit challenging conveyance of property to Conrail Court: case is ripe because injury is inevitable and delay is irrelevant
Lake Carriers Assn. v. McMullan: Π challenges state law prohibiting discharge of sewage from boats that will not take place until facilities are available. Court: case is ripe for same reason as Regional Rail and because hardship would be experienced immediately (installing equipment on boats in anticipation of law)