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Constitutional Law I
University of Toledo School of Law
Zietlow, Rebecca E.

Constitutional Law

I.                 Introduction to the Constitution:

a.      3 Branches of Government:
i.      Judicial (Art. III):
1.      Interpret the laws.
2.      Required to establish lower courts.
ii.      Executive (Art. II):
1.      Executes the laws.
2.      Power to veto.
3.      Foreign powers.
4.      Commander in chief.
5.      Appoint judges.
iii.      Legislative (Art. I):
1.      Make Laws
2.      Tax and Spend $$$
3.      Approve Judges
4.      Declare War
b.      Federal Government – Limited Power
i.      Federal Government cannot act unless it is expressly given the right in the constitution.
ii.      In an area where it can govern, federal law trumps state law via the supremacy clause.
c.      State Governments – Unlimited Power
i.      All rights not explicitly given to the feds were reserved for the states; thus, they can act on something unless they expressly gave up that power.
d.      Checks and Balances:
i.      Legislative:
1.      Over Executive = approve appointments, impeach
2.      Over Judicial = approve appointments, amend constitution, control over jurisdiction of fed. courts
ii.      Executive:
1.      Over Legislative = Veto Power
2.      Over Judicial = Appointments
iii.      Judicial:
1.      Judicial Review – Power to declare acts of either branch unconstitutional.
Power is not expressed in the Constitution

II.            Powers of Judicial Branch: (Art. III)

a.     Judicial Review:

i.      Supreme Court’s power to declare acts of the other two branches unconstitutional.
ii.      Marybury v. Madison – before this case, the court did not have a check over the other two branches. Here, the court establ

                                           ii.      Rational Basis Review:
1.      TEST – “means” & “ends”
a.       “Ends” must be legitimate (listed enumerated power)
b.      “Means” must be:
i.      Not expressly prohibited,
ii.      Actually calculated to affect the objects,
iii.      Reasonably necessary.
iii.      Supremacy Clause applied:
Although the states had the power to tax, it was struck down in this case b/c it conflicted with the federal government, and the feds trump the states.