CON LAW OUTLINE - I. The Authority of the Supreme Court of...

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I. The Authority of the Supreme Court of the United States of America: Section 1: Judicial Review Marbury v. Madison - establishes precedent of US Supreme Court having the ability to review any law to determine its constitutionality - US constitution is the “supreme law of the land” – Supremacy clause (Art. IV, Sec II) – this is not mean to be taken as a “guide”, rather it’s the law o Hence, laws cannot be made that violate the US Constitution. o In the Constitution, Art. III Sec.2 says that the US SC has original jurisdiction in only certain number of enumerated cases; at all other times it only has appellate jurisdiction Marbury tried to argue that the Exceptions clause, in addition to a lack of negative terms in this clause, implies that Congress could add other original jurisdiction US SC struck this down, saying that it would ineffecutate that clause Hence, the grants of original jurisdiction in the Judiciary Act are unconstitutional Grant of judicial power indicates that courts have the power to adjudicate all law in US, including Constitution, so courts must be able to adjudicate Constitutional claims This includes determining the constitutionality of statutes, or more broadly, any act of Congress . [This however is not explicitly stated in the Constitution]. - Additionally, Marshall’s opinion establishes the principle that the judiciary possesses power to review actions taken by the Executive Branch . [He did this by finding that the Secretary of State had acted illegally]. - Note that the Constitution itself authorizes nothing. Statutes must be enacted by Congress to allow for such powers. The Constitution is a storehouse of power, but only Congress can grant it. - Congress has the power to limit court’s jurisdiction any way they please (Art. III, Sec. 2). Courts are said to only have power to adjudicate where Congress says they can do so. - US SC has declared itself the supreme interpreter of the US Constitution. Section 2: Constitutional and Prudential Limits on Constitutional Adjudication Political Question Doctrine - Primarily a function of the separation of powers - Criteria for determination of a political question [Baker]: o Commitment to another branch: “a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department”
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o Lack of standard: “a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it” o Unsuitable policy determination: “impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion” o Lack of respect for other branches: “impossibility of a court’s undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government” o Political decision already made: “an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made” o Embarrassing multifarious pronouncements: “potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2008 for the course CON LAW CON LAW taught by Professor Conlaw during the Spring '08 term at Yeshiva.

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CON LAW OUTLINE - I. The Authority of the Supreme Court of...

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