Select Page

Constitutional Law I
University of Mississippi School of Law
Nowlin, Jack Wade

Constitutional Law
I.          Declaration of Independence
            A. Creates the United States
            B. Founded Upon Popular Sovereignty
            C. It lists certain natural rights
                        1.         they believe the king has violated these rights
            D. These encouraged the founders to establish a limited Government
                        1.         Structure
                                    a. Bicameralism
                                    b. Sep. of Powers
                                    c. Federalism
II.        Alex de Toxqueville’s Dem. In America
            A. Lawyers are an Aristocracy
                        1. Similar backgrounds and interest
                        2. Similar backgrounds and interest
                        3. Become judges
            B.        Claims ordinary questions turn into judicial questions- Juristocracy
III.       Texas v. Johnson
            A. Shows that Supreme court Justices can interpret the Con. Differently
            B. If they protect the flag it could be a slippery slope either way. How do they                     stop the flood.
IV.       Marbury v. Madison
            A. Political controversies between Federalist and Jeffersonians
            B. Marbury upset over writ of Mandamus
                        1. Has a right to the commission
                        2. His rights have been violated and he has a right to a remedy
3. But the S.C may not issue this remedy b/c the Judiciary act in   Unconstitutional
            C. Marshall creates judicial review by losing this battle for the Federalists
            D. Logic
                        1. Supremacy Clause- the constitution is supreme
                                    a. Art. 6 §2
                                    b. nature and purpose of Const.
                                    c. We have a written Con. Therefore it is supreme
                                    d. Popular sovereignty. A higher Law
                        2. Whose job is it to interpret the Const.
                                    a. Art. III “Arising under language. it is in their sphere they may                                             interpret
                                    b. Seperation of powers argument. Job of jud. To say what law is
                                    c. Judicial Oath of office
            E. Problems with the Marbury Decision
                        1. Marshall was secretary of state he should have recused himself
                        2. Should have not discussed the merits of the case with no jurisdiction
                        3. Gained power through misdirection
                        4. Marshall should have interpreted the statute positively for Congress- the                             judiciary act could be interpreted ambigeously
                        5. Marshall was trying to increase the power of the elite S.C.
V. McCullough v. Maryland
            A. Leg. Supremacy- Marbury rejects- Ceasar Rodney and a few Jeffersonians
            B. Exec. Supremacy no supporters
            C. Jud. Supremacy
                        1.         Marshall federalists support
                        2.         Arguments
                                    a.         Const. gives
                                    b.         Sep. of powers. It is a duty
                                    c.         settlement function- civil peac
                                    d.         Departmentalism- Thomas J. and Rep.
                                                – Seperation of powers- equal interpretive powers
                                                – Settlement arguments- but could create judicial terrany
                                                – could only allow judiciary to enforce in departmentalism
D. Brechenridge- says the judiciary does not have the power b/c it is not in                         constitution
VI.          Federalism Arguments- k b/t the states
      A. National Supremacy
            1.         no nullification worried about civil war
            2.         federal version of settlement fuction
            3.         Supporting National Jud. Supremacy
      B. Federal Departmentalism
            1. Art. 7- only needed nine to found
            2. Spirit of 76- may change gov. if bad
            3. Interposition- viewed as their job to protect their citizens from fed. Gov.
      C. Political Conflict b/t fed. And Rep.
      1. James Madison was driven by sedition act.
VII.           Constitutional Interpretation
                  A. Text
                  B. Original Understanding- controversial
                  C. Judicial Precedent
                  D. Evolving legal tradition
                  E.   Consensus Values
                  F.   Policy- Controversial
VIII.          Living Constitution
                  A. D-F
                  B. Judicial activism- Con. too much politics
                  C. Con does not constrain adapt
IX.             Historic Cons.
                  A. Judicial Restraint
                  B. S/P
                  C. Pro Stable predictable
                  D. Con dead hand effect
                  E.   Constraints linked to legal materials
X.              Judicial Activism
                  A. More flexible than amendments
                  B. S/P- Implementation of Const. values
                  C. Demo- practice min.
                  D. Protect Democratic values of gov
XI.             Jud. Restraint
                  A. S/P and structure
                  B. Change Art. V
                  C. div. political branches cultural democracy
Calder v. Bull 
I.                Chase
                  A. There is a higher law (living Con.)
                  B. Duty of Court to enforce natural law
II.              Irdell
                  A. Can’t go against the leg. b/c it is contrary to natural law
                  B. Const. is the people’s view of natural law i.e. justice, historic
III.             Marbury, McCulloch, Fed. 78
                  A. Supreme Judicial Review
                        1.         does not elevate b/c of the will of the people
                  2.   People created the const.
                  3.   which created the judiciary and the leg.
                  4.   which comes from the people
                  5.   Therefore, the people can overturn the contract at anytime
Power of Reprisal
I.                Checks on the Supreme Court
                  A. Amendments- can overturn S.C. rulings e.g. 11th and 14th
                        1.         difficult to ratify
                        2.         could erode power of Const.
                  B. Power to Appoint- can’t judge how they will react
                  C. Impeachment- never happened
                  D. Life tenure- difficult to control
                  E.   Controlling sitting judges: informal mechanisms and self- imposed limits
Justiciability- standing, mootness, ripeness, political ?, and no advisory opinions
I.                Case or Controversy
                  A. Art. III §2
                  B. No advisory opinion b/c not a case or controversy
                        1.         must hear cases
                        2.         efficiency-limit “cases”
                        3.         Soundness of judicial decision
                        4.         Fairness for persons who are proper litigants
Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway v. Wallace p. 87
II.              Standing
                  A. Individualized injury in fact
                  B. Causation: fairly traceable
                  C. Relief possible
Allen v. Wright
-Tax exempt status to the all white schools listed as charities
– IRS not enforcing
– problem the black kids did not try to apply to the white schools
– Kids are being kept out of Public school b/c the private school is affordable
– Every citizen can’t sue for illegality as a tax payer
– Every black citizen is hurt by discrimination. There must be a personal stigma
Stevens dissent
!Racially imbalanced school by stat action not fairly traceable harm
-This is an example of J.R. v. J.A.
Baker v. Carr
– Claim of malapportionment of representation
– Political question or justiciable
– Guarantee Clause- Art. V §4
– Equal protection clause case 14th
Luther v. Borden
-Guaranty clause if a political ? clause
– RI had 2 gov. 1840’s Dor’s Rebellion
– John Tyler sent Fed. Malitia to throw down
– Tresspass law case
– Brennans dissent is not worried about respect for the states he is worried about the 14th
– invading internal economy of state
– not sure if bothering 14th and 15th Amd.
– Ducks and drakes: playing games with leg. Sending games back and forth
– Court should not go down this road makes courts look political
– He says it is a guarantees clause case masquerading under a different label
Practically Brennan wins
III.             Political Question Test factors
                  A. text political bounds
                  B. lack of standard in place
                  C. initial non- judicial policy
                  D. lack of respect for that branch of gov.
                  E.   adherence ?
                  F.   embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by departments
IV.             Ripeness- there is not a case or controversy
V.              Mootness- case and controversy is over
Slavery and the Constitution
I.                State v. Post 20 N.J.L. 368 (1845).
                  A. Slavery in N.J.- does new state Con. prohibite slavery
                  B. Political question doctrine
                  C. says con. does not abolish slavery or they would have clearly given up        slavery
                  D. Also a question of separation of powers
                        1.         Judges should stick to law as written
II.              Slavery in the Constitution
                  A. Art. 1- 3/5 compromise
                  B. Art. 1 §5 –Congress can’t ban slave trade till 1808
                        1. some may interpret as a winging off process
                  C. Art. 4 § 2-       “Escaped slave clause”
                  D. Argument for and against the Con. and Dec. of Ind. Being pro or anti-       slavery
III.             Dred Scott
                  A. Scott sues new owner for false imprisonment under diversity jurisdiction
                  B. Roger Taney Chief Justice- says he is an originalist
                        1.         citizen must be viewed in eyes of framer. Therefore federal                                     citizenship cannot be given
                        2.         cannot gain freedom by going to a free jurisdiction
                        3.         supports by citing 5th Amendment- can’t deprive of property
                        4.         Uses substantive due process
                  C. Substantive Due Process- when Supreme Court says you can never ban       absolutely
                  D. Procedural Due Process- can ban with more process
                  E.   Second time- a congress’s law is invalidated
                  F.   Dissent Justice Mclean
                        1.         said free African Americans voted in ratification convention for                              Con.
                  G. Can use this case for either side of the judicial theories

     means must be substantially related
                  C. Rational Basis Review
                        1.         Almost always passes
                        2.         end must be legitimate
                        3.         means must be rationally related
XII.           Why strict scrutiny
                  A. Race- not relevant to gov. decision making
                  B. History of race problems.
                  C. Normative Argument
                        1.         Stigma
                        2.         Broader social harm
                        3.         Racial Disharmony
                  D. 14th Amendment about race
                  E.   Carolene Products footnote
                        1.         separate divided groups
                        2.         minority rights can’t win in democratic process
                        3.         Can include a lot of people (unborn children)
XIII.          Why have tiers of scrutiny
                  A. For judicial efficiency
                  B. Cuts down litigation
                  C. Helps people decide how to rule or make new laws
                  D. Need different levels to protect descret and insular minorities because of    political process
                  E.   Other reason same as why we have strict scrutiny
XIV.          Palmer v. Sidoti (1984)
                  A. Court gave kid to father because mother married an A.A.
                  B. Court said they were worried the kid would suffer from his peers
                  C. S.C. overturned
XVI.          When Class triggers Strict Scrutiny
                  A. Express Classification
                        1.         disadvantaged traditional discrimination against groups SS
                        2.         Appears Neutral as better TDAG and other groups SS
                        3.         Laws that advantage TDAG SS
                  B. No express race classification
                        1.         Purpose- race based RBR
                        2.         Effect- Race based RBR
                        3.         Purpose and Effect and RB S.S.
XVII.        Washington v. Davis p.514
                  A. Test for D.C. police more blacks fail
                  B. Showed effect but not purpose so use RBR
                  C. A lot of laws have a disproportionate impact. Impracticle
                        1.         maybe argue is b/c discrimination of race anyway
                  D. Stevens- sometimes can infer purpose from effect so S.S.
Death Penalty
I.                McClesky v. Kemp
                  A. Baldus Study
                        1.         some problems but overall reliable
                        2.         says death penalty is disc. Violates equal protection
                  B. Justice Powell
                        1.         court says effect race based
                        2.         RBR
                        3.         Said his jury was legitimate b/c there were no complaints
                        4.         Pros. Did not discriminate b/c their discretion is usually respected
                        5.         Leg. Not racist just want deterrence
                  C. Brennon
                        1.         infer purpose from outcome
                        2.         does not argument with Baldus
                        3.         Caroline Products- everything is rbr unless it involves DIM
                        4.         Wonders if maj. is worried about too much justice
                        5.         Says by ruling will be upholding Federalism
                  D. Some would say the maj. is just pragmatic    
More Race cases
I.                Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing
                  A. Things that trigger suspicion
                        1.         leg. History
                        2.         proc. Irregularities
                        3.         Historical Background
                        4.         Statistics
II.              Palmer v. Thomas (1971)
                  A. closed city pools to both B and W’s
                  B. ct. says not discriminatory effect
                  C. does have purpose
                  D. gets rational basis review
III.             Hunter v. Underwood (1985)
                  A. S.S.- can count because two purposes and effect. Against blacks and         whites.
                  B. has effect on blacks
                  C. the purpose is against poor whites
IV.             Loving v. Virg. (1967)