Constitutional Law Outline

Constitutional Law Outline - Constitutional Law Outline I....

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Constitutional Law Outline 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 meant to be taken as a “guide,” rather it is the law. o Hence, laws cannot be made that violate the US Constitution. o In the Constitution, Art. III Sec. 2 says that US SC has original jurisdiction in only certain enumerated cases; at all other times it has appellate jurisdiction. P here tried to argue that a lack of negative terms in this clause implies that Congress could add other original jurisdiction. US SC struck this down, citing such would ineffectuate that clause. Hence, the grants of original jurisdiction to US SC in Judiciary Act are unconstitutional. Grant of judicial power indicates that courts have power to adjudicate all laws in US, including Constitution, so courts must be able to adjudicate on Constitutional claims. This includes determining the constitutionality of statutes. This, however, is never explicitly stated in the US Constitution. - 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 courts jurisdiction in any way they please (Art. II Sec. 2). Courts are said only to 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 Nonjusticeability of Political Questions: Should a case present a ‘political question’ rather than a justiciable controversy, the court shall not decide it (separation of powers issue), rather leaving it to the political process. - Criteria for determination of a political question: o 1. A ‘textually demonstrable’ constitutional commitment of the issues to the political branches.
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o 2. Lack of manageable standards for judicial resolution. o 3. A need for finality in the action of the political branches o 4. Difficulty or impossibility of devising effective judicial remedies. Baker v. Carr: - TN voters claimed that they had been disfranchised as voters in elections for the TN legislature, and had their right to equal protection under the 14 th Amendment. - The question here is whether this is justiciable. o TN lawyers argued that this was a Guaranty Clause violation (Art. IV, Sec. 4), and thus non-justiciable. o
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Constitutional Law Outline - Constitutional Law Outline I....

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