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Constitutional Law I
University of Toledo School of Law
Closius, Phillip J.

Constitutional Law I

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of Constitution:
1. Centralize Power
2. Promote Wealth and Economic Growth
3. Provide for strong National defense
4. States were fearful of centralized power so Const was designed to limit
powers through of Gov through Separation of Powers and Federalism
5. Delegated v. Residuary Powers
a. Delegated Powers; Const designed to give Fed Gov only limited
powers expressly granted in the Const
b. Residuary Powers; State Powers are unlimited except for
expressly conferred on the Fed Gov

B. Established Rights/Authority of 5 entities

1. Legislature; Art I §§7,8
a. Art I § 7 gives Congress the power to make substantive making
Congress the most powerful branch of the Fed Gov
b. Power is diffused by creating a bicameral set up (H.O.R. and
c. Art I § 7 establishes protocol for making law
1) Bill can be introduced in either house
2) both houses must pass bill by 51% (simple majority)
3) Bill passed in both houses goes to President
4) President signs bill into law or vetoes it
5) if vetoed Congress can override w/ 2/3 supermajority
d. Art I § 8 enumerates what issues Congress can legislate
-war and declaration of war
-establish Army/Navy
-post office   
-interstate commerce
-coining money
-Borrow Money
e. Art I § 8 creates very limited list of authority and Congress must
be able to tie any legislation they pass to enumerated power
f. Necessary and Proper Clause; Grant Congress power to pass
any legislation pursuant to issues enumerated in Art I § 8

2. Executive; Art II
a. § 2 establishes what Pres can do but it is vague description
of authority
b. Pres is most powerful individual in Gov but the Executive is not
the most powerful Branch
c. President is the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy

y granted in

4. Power of States;
a. 10th Amendment grants states residual powers not granted                                               expressly to Fed Gov
b. Art IV § 1 Full Faith + Credit Clause; all state courts must
enforce judgments rendered in other states
c. Art IV § 2 Privileges and Immunities Clause ensures equal
protection under a state’s law to those visiting from out of state
d. Art VI Supremacy Clause:
1) Any valid Federal Law trumps any state law
2) state judges are bound to uphold Fed law even if it is
inconsistent with State law or State Const
a. State Courts can hear most Federal law issues but                                                       they must uphold the Fed law
b. Some Fed laws are exclusive to Fed Cts