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Federal Courts
University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Struve, Catherine T.

FED COURTS
 
 
 Madisonian compromise:   Anti-federalists don’t want any inferior courts- want to protect state courts. Federalists want them.
Compromise is that legislature can institute/appoint at their will. Word in final draft is “constituted by the legislature”
 
Appointment: by executive with advice and consent of the senate
 
Cases and controversies
(Note where each word is used)
– SUBJECT MATTER
1)Cases arising under the constitution, laws and treaties of the US.
2)Affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and counsuls
3)Admiralty and maritime cases
 
-PARTY STATUS
4) US is a party
5) Between 2 or more states
6) A state and citizens of another state
7) citizens of different states
8) Citizens of same state, land grants under different states
9) states or citizens thereof vs. foreign states, citizens, or subjects
 
Marbury v. Madison, 1803 (every right should have a remedy, SCOTUS arbiter of constitution)
Marbury wants court to tell sec of state (issue mandamus) forcing Madison to reinstitute him as a judge.
Brings case in SCOTUS.
Chief Justice Marshall was the guy that forgot to deliver the letters- doesn’t recuse himself.
 
1. Does he have a right to the position? Yes.
2. Do the laws afford him a remedy? Yes.
* “Essence of civil liberty” is that injuries to federal rights should have remedies.
BUT: Where the duty is assigned by law and an individual’s right depends on performance of that duty, he can sue for a remedy. Different if it is a discretionary decision whether or not to act.
 
3. Is he entitled to the remedy for which he applies (ie can the court issue a mandamus, do we have jurisidiction)?
Not for political questions: The province of this court is solely to decide on the rights of individuals not to inquire how the exectutive performs the duties in which they have discretion. But this is not a political question.
 
It comes down to interpretation of judiciary act: (see slide for text of act).
Marbury reads the act as giving jurisdiction but instead could be read to say that if you have jurisidiction, can issue a writ of mandamus.
 
The court reads the constitution to say that it lacks original when it has “appellate” in the list of case types. Therefore no original jurisdiction in this case- and issuing a mandamus here would be exercising original jurisdiction- can’t do it. Therefore judiciary act is unconstitutional in the part that grants original jurisdiction.
 
Purpose of the court is to resolve an issue in accordance with the law and if the laws conflict, like a statute and the constitution, they have to uphold the constitution as the supreme law. It is the province of the judiciary to say what the law is. 
 
Granting a writ would be unconstitional because lack original jurisdiction and therefore can’t grant it.
 
Holdings:
1)section 13 of Judiciary act of 1789 confers original SCOTUS jurisdiction in actions of mandamus
2)second paragraph of Article III,§2 restricts the permissible scope of SCOTUS’s original jurisdiction to cases “affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and counsels, and those in which a state shall be a party.”
 
Critique :
**All three branches take oath to uphold the constitution. Marbury gives the judiciary the final say on constitutionality but it could be that if the legislature says it is constitutional, then it is. Could use sumpermacy clause to support that- Marbury greatly enhances power of judiciary.
 
Notes: Steal Co.: Court has to see if there is standing and jurisidiction before going forward. Can’t start like Marbury with the merits and give an advisory opinion and then say no jurisdiction.
 
 
 
Advisory opinions are unconstituional
Jefferson asks supreme court to publicly comment on a number of hypotheticals.
 
They respond that separation of powers says it would be an “impropriety” for them to extrajudicially comment on these issues when the constitution specifically says the president can consult heads of departments. The executive support (attorney general) should advise the president. AKA- no advisory opinions
 
Notes:
Rule against advisory opinions is said to be old law of judiciability but consider Marbury- isn’t that advisory.
What about declaratory judgments?
Judges writing books?
 
Finality
Hayburn’s Case
Executive wants judges to hear petitions for pensions and to tell Congress whether or not they recommend them for pension?
Court says that this is a non-judicial act. Would make them into commissioners for the executive branch. That is permissible.
Notes: one concern is that the legislature or executive would “revise” (ie overturn) their decision.
In other words it wouldn’t be a final decision.
 
The supreme court has described hayburn’s case as “standing for the principle that Congress cannot vest review of the decisions of Article III courts in officials of the executive branch”.
 
Tutun: naturalization is different. Judges can do this even though executives could reverse later. It falls into the category of “regular course of judicial procedure”
 
Glidden: claims over 100,000 against US are ok even though congress has to approve the release of funds, so not really final. But congress always approve them
 
Plaut: congress can pass a law while a case is pending but can’t reopen final judgments.
French: congress can undo an injunction since its prosepective. Just cant undo damages , etc.
 
Standing
 
Requirements to be a case and controversy:
Injury
Causation
Redressibility
 
Reasons to limit standing
Separation of powers
Preservation of judicial resources
Improve judicial decision-making by giving exact facts
Want strongest vested interest bringing case in adversarial system
 
 
Steel: Court must find standing before reaching non-jurisidctional matters. Must bring it up Sua sponte.
 
HARM
Allen v. Wright, 1984 ( injury to all blacks not enough, need specific harm to you not generalized)
(improper remedy: won’t rewrite the law, only overturn it)
IRS gives tax breaks for private schools if they are not racist in their admissions

se.
 
INJURY:
Scrap: trash in the woods; scholl group does have standing
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife: concerned ability of Congress to create a citizen suit provision with respect to the Endangered Species Act. Fish and Wildlife Service altered/interpreted statute to only apply to actions in US and not abroad. Environmental NGOs sued—seeking injunction. 
Question: whether members had standing to bring their claim. 
Plaintiff went to Egypt, said would want to go back, didn’t want it destroyed in the interim; another said went to Sri Lanka, wanted to go back, didn’t want environment destroyed. Actually did discovery—discovered plaintiff didn’t have definite plans to return. 
Holding: no standing
How would we characterize claims in favor of standing? Interest in benefiting from the environment impaired by agency’s actions. Why would the Court rule against standing? Redressability issue; not clear that winning would provide an effective remedy. More importantly, not clear that they have an injury—diffuse plans to return to Egypt and Sri Lanka not really enough. This seems a bit odd, however; would they have had standing if they had had a plane ticket.   Does it change the analysis that the Endangered Species Act confers this right to sue? Well, same outcome, but have to consider whether the statute changes the way we look at this question. Constitutional principle at work—Art. III case or controversy limitation.
Morton:  doesn’t need to be economic harm. For organization, pick a person, need more than “against our mission”.
 
 
Heckler v. Mathews: Remedy even if it is others losing special rights, not you getting some.
*Watch the distinction w/ Allen v. Wright. Here it is an equal protection claim rather than the status and obligations of schools under the tax code.
 
Social Security gives benefits to women but not similarly situated men.
However, if the men won, they would not get the money, neither would get it.
Granted standing. Doesn’t matter that he won’t get a material benefit. Discrimination causes non-economic harms and a suit can end the discrimination.
 
 Laidlaw: don’t need factual injury- just reasonable concern
Claimed that swimming in a river made them sick. The fact that they could not prove that it made them sick did not block standing. The harm was that they thought they were made sick. “reasonable concern” that they were hurt by the water.
 
CAUSE AND REDRESSIBILITY