Select Page

Constitutional Law I
University of Toledo School of Law
Knouse, Jessica

Constitutional Law I

v     Introduction – The Constitution
Ø      The Constitution
§         7 Articles + 27 Amendments
§         Key Features
·         Supremacy
¨      Article VI, Clause 2 – laws of U.S. are supreme laws of the land
¨      judges in every state are bound thereby despite any laws to the contrary
¨      Constitution is Anti-Majoritarian – sometimes goes against the majority

v     Part I: Democracy & Judicial Power
Ø      Judicial Power
§         Judicial Review
·         Marbury v. Madison
¨      established judicial review rights
¨      Established power of judiciary to invalidate federal legislation
¨      Adopts strained interpretation of Article III
§         Judicial Review of State Courts
·         Martin v. Hunter’s Lease
¨      Sup Ct has appellate jurisdiction to review state court decisions involving federal law
¨      supreme court can hear civil cases
¨      cohen – sup ct can hear crim cases on appeal (parallel to martin case, but for criminal
§         Judicial Review of Congress
·         McCulloch v. Maryland
¨      Art I section 8 is not an exhaustive list of congressional powers (can glean other powers as the means to accomplish its enumerated powers)
¨      10th Amendment – states don’t retain ALL the powers not enumerated in Art I section 8, but only those powers that don’t infringe on the express or implied powers of the federal gov’t
¨      Also:
Ø      Affirmed right of congress to incorporate a federal bank
Ø      States can’t tax the federal gov’t (taxation w/out representation, textual interpretation of “necessary” & “expressly” by Marshall)

Ø      Limits on Judicial Power
§         Political Control v. Judicial Control
·         Ex Parte McCardle
¨      Supreme Court repeals the 1867 habeas corpus act that McCardle invoked to prevent appeal of the issue to the Supreme Court.
¨      Rule: Congress has Article III power to make exceptions to appellate jurisdiction of Sup. Ct.
¨      The structure of the Constitution suggests that Congress can’t take away all appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court; would interfere with the essential functions of the Supreme Court in the constitutional plan.

§         Prohibition against Advisory Opinions
·         Supreme Court has determined that the “Case or Controversy” rqmt of Article III prohibits federal courts from issuing advisory opinions
·         Would violate the Separation of Powers doctrine

§         Prohibition against Unripeness & Mootness:
·         Ripeness – unripe if it rests on contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all
·         Mootness – A case is moot when the issues presented are no longer “live” or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome
Exceptions to the mootness doctrine:
Cases that are capable of repetition, yet evading review (Roe v. Wade), case is not moot
Cases where party voluntary ceases to engage in the challenged action, case is not moot

§         Standing Rqmt
·         Standing Requirements
¨      There are 3 Constitutional Requirements (Article III of Const. & separation of powers):
Ø      Personal injury
Ø      Fairly traceable to the challenged action
Ø      Likely redressable by the remedy requested
¨      There are 3 Prudential Requirements (self-imposed by Court):
Ø      No 3rd party standing
Ø      No generalized grievances
Ø      Complaint must fall w/in the zone of interests protected by underling law
·         Allen v. Wright – Personal injury which is distinct and palpable reqd; not hypothetical or conjectural
·         Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife – Rule of the case

regulate “intercourse” among the several states, but not “commerce which is completely internal …..”
§         Hammer (Child Labor case)
·         Realist Test
·         Congress may not enact legislation designed to promote non-commercial goals
·         Limited Congress’s power under Commerce Clause authority, striking down Federal Child Labor Act
·         Issue of child labor is one for the states; no fed power under Commerce Clause to regulate this
§         Wickard (wheat case)
·         Broad interpretation of commerce clause, upholding fed statute
·         Congress may regulate entirely local, non-commercial activity can be regulated if it “exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.”
§         2 Approaches to adjudicating commerce clause cases
·         Formal
¨      Ct applies objective criteria to face of the statute
¨      Example: Does the statute regulate goods crossing state lines? If so, it’s w/in the commerce power, regardless of Congress’s intent or he statute’s actual economic impact
·         Realist
¨      Court considers Congress’s intent or the statute’s economic impact
¨      Example: Does that statute promote interstate commerce? If so, it’s w/in the commerce power, regardless of its facial terms.
¨      Example: “Stream of Commerce” test
·         Expansion of commerce clause authority after New Deal legislation
¨      Constitutional moment? “Switch in time to save nine?” Deference to the people’s will?