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Federal Courts
West Virginia University School of Law
Ashdown, Gerald G.

Ashdown-Federal Courts Outline.
I.       Chapter 1: Issues in Judicial Review
A.    Marbury v. Madison (1803)
1.      Established the power of judicial review: the power of the judiciary to invalidate acts of the majoritarian branches of the federal government found to be in conflict w/ the Constitution
a.       check on the democratic process, although by definition it is counter-majoritarian since federal judges are not elected and they serve for life.
2.      Three Questions to Answer:
a.       (1) Does he have a right to the commission that he demands?  Yes, he has a right to the commission.  Marshall could have said that you don’t have a commission until it is signed and delivered
b.      (2) If he has a right, and that right has been violated, do the laws of his country afford him a remedy?  A) Political Question v. Duty B) Marshall has assumed power over the executive
(i)     Here is a situation where it wasn’t a political question it was approved by Congress, signed by the President and the Sec. of State.  The President has a duty to see that the commission was delivered. 
(ii)   (Cited in Nixon case He had to turn the tapes over—he wasn’t the final arbiter of executive privilege.  The SC cited Marbury v. Madison)  Article 1-Congress, Article 2- President, Article 3- Federal Courts
c.       If they do afford him a remedy, is it a mandamus issuing from this court?  Writ of Mandamus requires original jurisdiction, the SC does not have original jurisdiction over this case, it would have only appellate jurisdiction.  A) Statute vs. Const. B) Legislative Brand
(i)     Conflict between Article 3 Sec. 2, and Sec. 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789—He said that Sec. 13 gives the SC original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus.  Marshall could have said that Sec. 13 doesn’t create jurisdiction, it just creates a remedy, instead he interpreted both to set up a clash.   
(ii)   Article 3 Sec. 2 conflict would be that the original jurisdiction would not cover writs of mandamus.  He established Article 3 as a ceiling above which Congress couldn’t go.  He could have said that Article 3 Sec. 2 is a floor that it doesn’t limit the cases over which SC has original jurisdiction.
B.     Without the ability to strike down laws and statutes under Marbury, the SC would be superfluous—50 jurisdictions w/50 different rules.  Is Marbury or Marin v. Hunters Lessee more important.  Martin gives the SC power to oversee the laws of the states. 
C.     May be a test questionà If people are against JR, what would they think of the role of the judiciary?  When Congress and the Executive would disagree, is that where the court would come in?  The federal courts are to be an arbiter of conflicts between the legislature and the executive and laws and conflicts of the states. 
II.    Chapter 2: Congressional Power to Control Federal Jurisdiction
A.    How much power can Congress give Fed. Courts?
1.      Floor- No, b/c congress has the power to give and take away (Sheldon)
2.      Ceiling- Maybe (Marbury says Yes)
3.      Neither- 
4.      Both- No, b/c not a floor
B.     Sec. 1: Congressional Power to Regulate Lower Federal Court Jurisdiction
1.      Sheldon v. Sill (1850)
a.       Company assigned a mortgage case to a 3rd party who then tried to bring the dispute into federal court.  Guy is arguing that the Constitution has granted him the right to sue a person of another state in federal court.  Congress was trying to stop parties to create by assignment federal jurisdiction that would not otherwise exist.
b.      Having a right to prescribe, Congress may withhold from any court of its creation jurisdiction of any of the enumerated controversies.  It has never been the law that Congress has to give the federal courts all of the power granted by the Constitution.
c.       The power to create is the power to limit, eliminate or destroy.
d.      Congress can strip inferior courts to strip hot-button issues (abortion, prayer) and strip Supreme Court (through exceptions/regulation to SC)
2.      Lockerty v. Phillips (SCOTUS 1943) pg. 120
a.       Facts: The statute Congress created took away jurisdiction of all courts except for the Emergency Court of Appeals. The appellants went to District Court instead of the Emergency Court of Appeals. Merchants are trying to raise a 5th Amendment DP violationà trying to raise the issue of whether the statute on its face is Constitutional
b.      If Congress has precluded state and federal court review, it would have been unconstitutional because it is precluding all judicial review, but it left one court open.
c.       All doors closed, but one= still ok.
3.      Yakus v. U.S (SCOTUS 1944)- In conjunction with Lockerty
a.       Facts: People didn’t follow the rules-complained that the price set was so low that they couldn’t make a profit.  They sold it for a higher amount.
b.      There is a procedure that is set up to be followed—they didn’t follow it, so they couldn’t raise the claims of whether it was unconstitutional or not.
c.       the Court could not yet determine whether the procedures violated D/P since the statute was not void on its face.  Thus, the petitioners were not deprived of a D/P right since they had an opportunity to go to the Emergency Court and they did not take it.
4.      Battaglia v. General Motors Corp (2d Cir. 1948) pg. 129
a.       Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 gave covered employees time and a half compensation for any work over and above a 40 hour work week.  Congress passed a statute saying that no employer could be liable for failure to compensate—and said that no court would have jurisdiction
b.      Congress can’t exercise that power to deprive any person of law or to take private property without just compensation.
c.       D/P violationà Complete Strip (no judicial review)
5.      Bartlett v. Bowen (DC Cir. 1987) pg. 130
a.       Facts: You can go to a Christian Science Care facility we will pay for it, but if you change your mind and want to go somewhere else, we aren’t going to pay for it.  Woman’s dead sister challenged this.
(i)     Statute said that if a claim is for under $1000 there can be no judicial review
b.      there has to be jurisdiction somewhere because Congress would not have intended for there not to be any jurisdiction. 
c.       Congress cannot limit jurisdiction to the point where it might violate other provisions of the Constitution.  In this case, there was a possible conflict with D/P (there was no process at all).
6.      Allowing only states to interpret federal law raises a variety of federal issues:  (1) lack of uniformity; (2) greater access to political pressure (state hostility to federal constitutional claims); or (3) lack of familiarity or expertise.
7.      Every time that the SC is faced with a situation where Congress has not created jurisdiction, they have given jurisdiction by finding no clear + convincing evid. or avoiding the question of whether Congress has the right to do such a thing (finding another reason).

ress had stripped the jurisdiction of the SC:
(i)     A state court could now pass a law overruling Roe (It is old and outdated).  We now think that the SCOTUS itself would not uphold Roe v. Wade
(ii)   A state court could appeal it to the SC anyway and allow the SC to say that they don’t feel that the strip of their jurisdiction was valid in the first place.
b.      Congress can strip state of Juris. Through the Supremacy Clause.
c.       Section 1131- general grant of jurisdiction for fed courts.
d.      Remember Tarbles case where states could not issue HC, this means that if congress stripped fed. Courts of all jurisdiction, then Congress could still not strip HC jurisdiction.
(i)     Supsension clause is an external restrain on juris. stripping
7.      Boumediene v. Bush-  See notes for more info
a.       Boumediene might be precedent for not allowing Congress to strip all Juris. for Const. issues.
(i)     HC is a direct limitation on Congress.  Case could be interpreted only to this issue.
(ii)   No direct question on other issues not explicit in Const.
b.      Rule: If statute is unconst., the no strip is valid; but may be limited to explicit grants in Const.
c.       Main Issues addressed
(i)     Do detainees get HC.  Yes.  Rasul
(a)    We don’t know the status of the detainee (American vs. terrorist. 
(b)   Location- on a US base with sovereign control
(c)    Procedural difference, so have HC determination
(ii)   Are DTA adequate substitutions for HC.  No
(a)    No adequate opportunity to challenge gov’t charges
(b)   DC circuit can only review procedures, not factual basis
(c)    Put in your own evid. is not satisfied.
(iii)  HC has not been suspended.
8.      Side Note:  Two main kinds of arguments seen in most cases in this class.
a.       Structural Arguments:  sep. of powers and Federalism.  These provide the model for arguments about Congressional Power.
b.      Textual Arguments:  D/P, Art. III, other Const. provisions.  These provide the model for arguments about the text of a statute.
D.    Section 4: Congressional Power to Vest Article III Courts with Non-Article III Power
1.      Stripping Issue:
a.       It is the judiciary’s job to place a restriction on majoritarian rule.
b.      Congress could pass a federal statute and simultaneously strip the SC and the lower federal courts of jurisdiction.—Deny gay marriageàacting not as an accomplice but as a perpetrator.
c.       If the strip is unconstitutional, then you get to the validity of the merits. 
2.      National Mutual Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Transfer Co., Inc. (SCOTUS 1949) pg. 182
a.       Can Congress open federal courts in the several states to action by a citizen of DC against a citizen of one of the states (i.e. make D.C. available for diversity jurisdiction).