conlaw nichol - Anything which can be changed by the...

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“Anything which can be changed by the legislature is not actual law.” -G. Nichol 1. Federalism/Separation of powers Article III - Judiciary: LIMITATIONS ON JURISDICTION Original jurisdiction Article III only gives SC original juris over 3 categories of cases involving:  1) Ambassadors,  2) public ministers,  3) state as a party… Judicial Review:  if the statute conflicts with the Constitution, the Constitution prevails;  it is emphatically the judiciary branch’s responsibility to enforce this, even if it means  invalidating an act of Congress Marbury v. Madison -midnight judge appointee seeks writ of mandamus from SC, attempts to invoke  original jurisdiction based on Judiciary Act of 1789;  Marshall concludes: Marbury has a right to the commission,  and a legal remedy (“every right has a remedy”),  SC can order executive to behave in specific way re: ministerial f(X) o political  (policy, gets discretion) vs.  ministerial  (legally required  duties, including delivery of commissions) functions writ of mandamus = correct remedy, but SC = wrong Ct (Jud Act of 1789  conflicts w/ Article III) essentially, Ct lacks jurisdiction b/c: 1) Const = supreme law of the land (is meant to bind the entire gov’t, including  legislative statutes) 2) “Emphatically the province of the judicial branch to say what the law is” o carves out SC’s job to interpret the law o judges bound by  oath  of office 3) Nature of  written constitution means gov’t power is LIMITED o if const is just what Congress says it is, those limits are meaningless;  o otherwise Congress could just add anything it wanted  Congress can’t add to SC’s Art III original jurisdiction THEREFORE: in deciding cases, Supreme Ct must look to statutes AND the  Constitution; Const isn’t just guidelines, it’s  enforceable law 1
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Const is superior to statutes, so when they conflict, Courts must uphold the  Const, can void legislative acts in doing so…so here, Judiciary Act provision  expanding SC’s original jurisdiction = unConst.   How broad is the power of judicial review? - Marbury  only claims authority to decide individual cases (within SC’s  jurisdiction) based on Const -laws aren’t automatically void once deemed unConst; Ct can strike them  down but must rely on Congress/Exec to enforce; certainly Ct’s decisions  have some predictive value -the more broadly it’s asserted, the sharper it conflicts w/ notions of  democratic governance -Art III gives life-tenure to federal judges, removes them from  pressures of politics, fosters independence from the whims of the 
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