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Unformatted text preview: Political Science 104- October 1, 2007 Supreme Court 2007 Term Key cases: - Does "lethal injection" violate 8th amendment - Do voter-ID laws unconstitutionally burden right to vote? - Does the Military commission Act unconstitutionally strip federal courts of jurisdiction to bear habeas complaints? - Can the president order a state court to give a new hearing to inmate, under international treaty? The Right to Privacy Griswold v. Connecticut (1965): overturned law banning the use of contraceptives and instruction in their use Decision identified a constitutional right to privacy Key to Roe v. Wade Limits on The Right to Privacy Roe v. Wade: balances woman's right to privacy against government's interest in protecting a viable fetus (states allowed to restrict most 3d trimester abortions) - States can impose some restrictions, as long as they do not create an "undue burden" Waiting periods, informed consent ok; spousal notification no. Affirmative Action Involves government consideration of race in provision of benefits (hiring, contracts, university admission) - Some applications to private entitles, through nondiscrimination laws Racial classifications considered inherently suspect, subject to strict scrutiny - Compelling governmental interest - Narrowly tailored (must be very specific) Questions Can a public school make hiring and firing decisions based on applicant's race? Assign students based on race? (generally, no) Can a public university take race into account in admissions and scholarship decisions? (under some circumstances and within limits) Can a government set aside a certain level of public contracts for minority-owned businesses? (sometimes) Can a government draw legislative districts to increase the chances of electing a minority representative? (within limits) Does it depend on motive? Compensation for past discrimination, or pursuit of other value? Court Decisions Based on interpretation of 14th Amendment Grutter v. Bollinger: UM law school student claimed he was denied admission because of his race Decision: - Diverse student body is a compelling state interest - "holistic" determination, not mechanical application of rigid rules or quotas.
- Not needed after another 25 years? More Recent Decisions Parents Involved With Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007) - District assigned some students to schools based on race, in order to get a balance - No previous history of discrimination in Seattle (remedying past discrimination is a compelling state interest that justifies taking race into account. - Held: violates 14th amendment equal protection (5-4) - Roberts: The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
- Breyer: The court and the nation will come to regret ?The decision Implications for Grutter? The Presidency Expectations and Realities of power Formal vs. informal sources of power Constitutional powers (The Veto) Informal/bargaining powers "moral leadership" Different conceptions of the presidency, and the evolution of presidential power
- Governing By Campaigning Application of these themes to GW Bush Thesis: "revolution in public policy" - Reduced taxes - Education- No Child Left Behind Act - Church-State relations. Federal policy to provide support for faith - Social Security--didn't go well. - National Security - Powers of the presidency
- Supreme Court appointments Expectations and Realities Public expectations far exceed the power of the President (or federal government) - Example: presidents and the economy - Crime, economy, environment, national defense, foreign policy, budgets, taxes, welfare, etc. - President constrained by separation of powers Framers clearly intended that Congress would be the "primary" branch of government "Energy in the Executive" Hamilton, Federalist 70 is a defense of a strong executive (which was considered a precursor to monarchy) "energy and dispatch" necessary for effective government independent, unitary, single executive Formal Presidential Powers Listed in Article II: - "The executive power shall be invested in a President of the United States"
- Commander in Chief - Appointment power (ambassadors, judges, executive branch officials) "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"- Faithful execution clause Power to make treaties--power that is shared with senate Legislative power: the Veto Textbook: key formal powers derive from "head of state" military judicial (pardons) diplomatic In effect, these give the president "unreviewable" powers Observations about Formal Powers The powers are loosely specified (unlike Article I) There aren't many of them They do provide some formidable advantages, though Ambiguities of Presidential Power Key presidential powers are not fully defined Examples Can the president refuse to carry out a law he views as unconstitutional? - Is Constitution one of the laws the president must "faithfully execute?" - Generally agreed there is no "nullification" power
- What if president refused to allow prosecutions under a criminal law, or pardons everyone convicted of violation? Can the president violate a law he views as unconstitutional (FISA and electronic surveillance Evolution of Presidential Role different eras of presidential leadership: Demarcation is the strength of the presidency, which grew substantially with FDR and the New Deal Key factors in Rise of Presidency Expansion of government power (don't need strong president when government doesn't do much) Public side of presidency: the "bully pulpit" Creation of "institutional presidency" Growth of Presidential Power FDR/New Deal changes everything Growth of Presidential Power Rise of Institutional Presidency ...
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