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Unformatted text preview: Constitutional Law I Outline Professor Torrance Roadmap o Federalism (meaning the federal and state governments co-exist) Limited, Enumerated Powers The powers of the federal government are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution Separation of Powers Each of the 3 branches of the federal government has its own enumerated powers, and one branch may not take actions reserved by the Constitution to one of the other branches Congress Commerce Power Congress power to regulate commerce o Dormant Commerce Clause Under the Dormant Commerce Clause, the mere existence of the federal commerce power restricts the states from discriminating against , or unduly burdening, interstate commerce 3 Standards of Review o (1) Mere Rationality Standard (easiest one to satisfy) Court will uphold the governmental action so long as 2 requirements are met: (1) Government must be pursuing a legitimate state objective (2) There has to be a minimally rational relation between the means chosen by the government and the state objective The state regulation has to pursue a legitimate state end, and be rationally related to that end Only if the government has acted in a completely arbitrary and irrational way will this rational link b/w means and end not be found Where the mere rationality standard is applied, the governmental action will almost always be upheld Main test to determine whether a state regulation that affects interstate commerce violates the Dormant Commerce Clause o (2) Strict Scrutiny Standard (hardest to satisfy) Only satisfied if the governmental act satisfies 2 very hard tough requirements: (1) The objective being pursued by the government must be compelling (2) The means chosen by the government must be necessary to achieve that compelling end o The fit between the means and the end must be extremely tight o Necessary means that there must not be any less restrictive means that would accomplish the governments objective just as well Where strict-scrutiny is used, the governmental action will almost always be struck down o (3) Middle-Level standard In-between the 2 review standards is the so called middle review, requiring: (1) The governmental objective has to be important (halfway b/w legitimate and compelling) (2) The means chosen by the government must be substantially related (halfway b/w rationally related and necessary) to the important government objective THE CONSTITUTION History: o America Before the Constitution (i.e. Articles of Confederation) No federal executive or central government Congress was powerless States fought, minted their own currencies, negotiated trade agreements w/ foreign nations, taxed products from other states Economy was poor / colonies in debt o The Philadelphia Convention Small states feared their influence would be lost / would be outvoted...
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