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Federal Courts
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Johnson, Kit

Part One: Judicial Review
Ordinary standing: Case or controversy: injury in fact; fairly traceable to the cause claimed; redressability (can be fixed by court).
 
Two types of standing: **unless congress has made it broad enough to negate prudential, must do a two-part analysis
Constitutional, Article III
Requirements:
Injury in fact (case in controversy)
Fairly traceable (related to case)
Redressable (ct can fix it)
Prudential
Interest that Congress wanted to protect; injury Congress wanted to prevent.
 
Taxpayer standing: o   Flast test: Must be an Act of Congress AND an exercise of Taxing and Spending Clause. If it is an executive decision, there is no standing.
  Taxpayer must establish a logical link between that status (as a taxpayer) and the type of legislative enactment attacked
 
MOOTNESS & RIPENESS
Federal courts are w/o power to decide questions that cannot affect the rights of litigants in the case before them. Courts cannot issue advisory opinions.
Heavy burden on defendant to stop and no possibility of recurrence.
·         Art. III: There must be a “case or controversy” for the federal court to intervene.
Why is a mootness doctrine needed?
·         You’ve got to have a stake in the case (adversarial system).
o   Counter-argument: If you’re in the Supreme Court, you probably care quite a bit (lots of money involved).
·         Promotes judicial economy; Separation of powers: Put this in each exam answer; apparently, it’s highly important. Remember the distinction between case-deciding and law-declaring; Federalism; Fitness
Two mootness doctrine exceptions:
1.    Voluntary cessation: Just because the D stops the behavior doesn’t mean that it’s moot. The D may just be conceding that they are likely to lose.
a.    In Super Tire Engineering (1974): public assistance for striking workers law had effect on labor-employment relationship, even if the strike had ended. Note two on 71.
b.    Note three on 71: Who should bear the burden of proof on the likelihood of recurrence? Party asserting mootness bears the burden of demonstrating that is “absolutely clear” that the behavior will not recur. Friends of the Earch v. Laidlaw (2000).
2.    Capable of repetition, yet evading review: Focus is on the litigant, not like litigants.
a.    A reasonable expectation that the same complaining party will be subjected to the same action again. Note 1 on 71.
b.    Very short timelines.
Ripeness Doctrine was intended as a limit on the Declaratory Judgment Act.
BALANCING TEST: Ripeness turns on 1. The fitness of the issues for judicial decision and 2. The hardship to the parties of withholding court consideration.
 
MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc.
2007
Party is not obligated to open itself up to treble damages in order to have its day in court. That wouldn’t make sense. Declaratory Judgment Act was intended to remedy these problems.
 
POLITICAL QUESTIONS 81-103
Political Question: a question which is not justiciable in a federal court because of the separation of powers provided by the constitution.
Six political question factors:
1.    A textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department
2.    A lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it
3.    The impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion
4.    The impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government
5.    An unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made
6.    The potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question.
a.    Two ways to analyze political questions:
b.                Rule based: Does the language prevent it?
c.                 Effect-based: Would the effect of addressing the question make it a political question?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART TWO: CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL OF JURISDICTION
INTERNAL CONSTRAINTS 104-128
Recap: The extent to which Congress can control what federal courts can do.
·         Lower federal court jurisdiction: Sheldon
·         SCOTUS appellate jurisdiction: McCardle
·         All federal appellate jurisdiction
Constraints on jurisdiction stripping
·         Internal, Article III: Only in lower federal courts is this okay (Sill: If Congress created the court, Congress can decide what cases it can hear); look to the statute or constitution.
·         External: Due Process (Even if Congress gives the jurisdiction, it cannot pass law that denies 5th Amendment Due Process rights); Habeas Corpus (All Writs Act); Role of State Courts (when it is not a purely federal right. Comity is key); Misc. question issues (Look at Plaught: Congress cannot pass la

le: They are two separate, distinct and independent spheres of government.
o   Sheldon v. Sill: No problem with stripping lower federal court jurisdiction.
o   Webster v. Doe: Unless Congress makes it absolutely clear, the Supreme Court will hear appeals of cases that present constitutional issues.
·         Booth case: Wis.: Habeas for federal detainees; SCOTUS: Reversed.
 
SEC. 4: CONGRESSIONAL POWER TO CONTROL JUDICIAL DECISIONS
PLAUT v. SPENDTHRIFT FARM, INC. (1995)
·         Congress violates Article III when it retroactively requires Judicial Branch to reopen cases.
·         Separation of Powers issue.
o   Congress should have instead extended SOL.
·         How limited/pragmatic is the judicial sphere?
 
MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS 178-202
NATIONAL MUTUAL INSURANCE CO. v. TIDEWATER TRANSFER CO., INC. (1949)
·         HOLDING: Congress can grant non-article III power to article III courts through its article I power (only in DC).
 
 
PART THREE: LEGISLATIVE COURTS (ART. I)
Sec. 1: THE BACKGROUND TO LEGISLATIVE COURTS: AGENCY ADJUDICATION AND REVIEW OF “CONSTITUTIONAL FACTS”
This comes from the enumerated powers in the constitution and the necessary and proper clause.
 
CROWELL v. BENSON (1932): first United States Supreme Court decision that approved the adjudication of private rights by an administrative agency, not an Article III court. The Court held that the United States Employees' Compensation Commission satisfied Fifth Amendment Due Process and the requirements of Article III with its court-like procedures and because it invests the final power of decision in Article III courts.
·         Question of validity of the Act is considered in relation to:
o   1. Its provisions defining substantive rights and
§  Its provisions fall squarely within Art. III power. 
·         When a constitutional right is at issue, there must be a judicial tribunal to determine the issue as to law.
·         You can