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

Con Law I – Outline

I. Basic Structure of Government
A. 3 Branches
1. Legislative (Article I)
a. Makes Law
i. Congress
2. Executive (Article II)
a. Enforces Law
i. President
3. Judicial (Article III)
a. Interpret Law
i. Judges
B. Checks and Balances
1. Legislative
a. To Impeach (Judiciary and Pres.)
b. Override vetoes (Pres.)
c. Create/Limit Jurisdiction (Judiciary)
d. Amend Constitution (Judiciary)
2. Executive
a. Veto (over Congress)
b. Appoint Judges (over judiciary)
3. Judicial
a. Judicial Review (Over Pres. And Congress)
C. Federalism
1. Separation of Powers
a. No branch performs functions of another
b. Avoids interference
b. Prevents too much power concentrating in 1 branch
2. States vs. Federal Gov’t
a. State: Presumption in favor of power
General police power, unless the Constitution provides otherwise (10th amendment)
If its not delegated to the federal government = reserved to states, or to the people
b. Federal Gov’t: Presumption against power
i. No power, unless constitution says so; delegating power
to federal gov’t
I. Where Federal Gov’t has power, it is supreme
Supremacy clause Article 6, Clause 2
II. Federal law is supreme against states b/c its
power from the people
II. Judiciary Branch
A. Article III
1. Section 2, part 1
a. All cases under the law and constitution
2. Section 2, part 2
a. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over: Ambassadors,
Public ministers and Consuls, and when State is a party
b. All other Appellate Jurisdiction
B. Judicial Review
a. Court has authority to enforce its interpretation of Constitution
against other branches of federal gov’t (can review congress and pres. Actions)
b. Court has authority to enforce its interpretation of Constitution against the states (Can review state court decisions)
i. Article III does not require congress to establish any
lower federal courts
I. Framers must have foresaw federal issues would
be tried in state courts therefore, must have intended the Sp. Ct. to review state decisions
ii. States gave up some sovereignty to federal government
iii. Supremacy Clause
Any conflict of laws, the federal law reigns supreme
Sp. Ct. review of state courts ruling on federal law
ensures supremacy of federal law and uniformity of federal law
c. Court’s interpretations of Constitution become part of Constitution
d. Which conflicting rules governs
i. They say

t salary
2. Congress Can
a. Limit jurisdiction
i. Congress can’t do anything to the original jurisdiction of
Supreme Court
ii. Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as
to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulation as the congress shall make
b. Amend the Constitution
i. Must be proposed by 2/3 of congress or states
ii. Approved by ¾ of states
c .Control the Size of Courts and number of lower courts
d. Control appointments of judges
Pres. Appoints, Senate approves
E. Internal (Self Imposed) Limits on Courts Power (Justiciability)
1. Article III Doctrines
a. Case or controversy requirement
i. No advisory Opinions
b. Standing – Constitutional Requirements
i. Actual Injury
ii. Causation (act must cause the injury)
iii. Redressability
c. Timing – is moot or ripeness
i. Ripeness
I. Not ripe, means lawsuit filed too soon
II. Must be a concrete proof that a harm will occur
A. Fear of harm is usually not enough