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Nancy Donovan CONSTITUTIONAL LAW I Prof. Salomone Fall 2001 The major areas of Constitutional Law : 1. Judicial Review - A federal court may only hear a case if it involves a “case or controversy” under Art III of the Constitution. 2. Separation of Powers A S of P question involves the relationship between or among branches of the federal government. 3. Federalism A federalism question involves the relationship between the federal government and the states. 4. Individual Rights These questions typically involve a gov’t, fed or state, taking some action which abridges the right of an individual. An analysis should include the following steps: (i) Determine which gov’t is acting, (ii) identify the interest that has been abridged, (iii) place the abridged interest in the Con, (iv) ascribe constitutional weight to the interest abridged, and (v) set the appropriate level of scrutiny. PART I. THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION IN IN CONSTITUTIONAL CASES Chapter 1. THE NATURE & SOURCES OF SUPREME COURT POWER Article III, Section 1 provides the basis for and the scope of federal judicial power: “ The judicial power of the US shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish …” Note: Establishes S.Ct. not the whole system (thru subsequent Congressional acts). Article III, Section 2 The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the US, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority …” Note: Lays out judicial power - all cases under Constitution - language that grants judiciary cases under Constitution textual support for judicial review, but no clear statement. Original Jurisdiction : The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction “ in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and in those in which a State shall be a party …” o Under present statutes, the S.Ct. has exclusive original jurisd only when a state sues a state; in all other cases involving the S.Ct’s original jurisd, Congress, under its power to ordain and establish inferior federal courts, has conferred concurrent original jurisd on fed dist cts. The original jurisd of the S.Ct can neither be expanded nor diminished by statute. o Note: How Marshall relies on for ultimate decision in M v. M - no original jurisd for writ of mandamus.
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Appellate Jurisdiction : In all cases other than those listed under its Art III original jurisd, the S.Ct has appellate jurisd, with such exceptions and regulations as Congress shall make. o Under this grant of app jurisd, the Court has app jurisd over all cases coming from lower fed cts, and from cases coming from state courts, as long as state court cases involve a fed ques.
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