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- 1 - 1 C ONSTITUTIONAL L AW O UTLINE T HE R OLE OF THE C OURTS IN C ONSTITUTIONAL I NTERPRETATION I. J UDICIAL R EVIEW AND C ONSTITUTIONAL S TRUCTURE a. The origins and theory of judicial review i. Marbury v. Madison : Establishment of Judicial Review 1. Power of courts to declare legislation or executive acts invalid as unconstitutional a. Implied power of the court 2. Opinion a. Marbury had a right to his commission. b. Marbury had a judicially enforceable remedy because i. Court provide a remedy for every wrong BUT ii.Political acts of the President and cabinet done within their discretion are not reviewable by the court. c. Marbury was not entitled to mandamus by the Supreme Court i. The act was unconstitutional because it gave the court original jurisdiction, contrary to the Art. III grant of jurisdiction over diplomats or between two states. When a statute and the Constitution conflict, 1. Constitution, as a higher law, prevails 2. It is emphatically the province and duty of the court to say what the law is. d. Justifications for Judicial Review i. Inferred in a written Constitution ii.Necessary to the judicial role of interpreting law iii. Implied from the command of the supremacy clause that the Constitution is the supreme law of the law 1. Binding on the state courts iv. Article III gives federal courts jurisdiction over cases arising under the Constitution v.Implied from the fact that judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution. ii.Judicial Review of State Statute 1. Planned Parenthood v. Casey a. Plurality Opinion —Reasons for upholding the central holding in Roe v. Wade i. Precedent—circumstances in Roe have not changed since that decision, thus no reason to overturn the decision. ii. Covenant—Court stays true to the covenant, the fundamental right of all. If the court stays true, those who disagree with the outcome cannot argue that the court abandoned the covenant. iii. Credibility—overruling Roe , absent some clear error, would undermine the judicial power b. Dissenting Opinion —nothing in the Constitution supports the idea that abortion is a fundamental right. i. Invalidating the PA statute removes the issue from the democratic process by cutting out the will of the people and substituting the court’s will iii. Judicial Exclusivity in Constitutional Interpretation? 1. Cooper v. Aaron a. Court’s power to interpret the Constitution is exclusive when the other contender is a state. b. Less clear when the contender is congress or president i. President has some practical discretion in enforcing Supreme Court decisions, but not absolute discretion ii.Legislature can always reenact a statute that has been invalidated by Court within constitutional limits b. Power to Review State Court Judgments © 2006 Stephen Hunt, Jr.
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This note was uploaded on 06/15/2009 for the course LAW 577 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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