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Constitutional Law U.S. Constitution U.S.
• • • • Over 200 years old General in nature Federalism Enumerated powers
– In Tenth Amendment • Separation of powers • Checks and balances General Approach to constitutional cases constitutional
• Is it the government who is engaging in Is the conduct? the • If so, does the conduct’s If accomplishment justify the infringement? infringement? • A balancing of the conduct’s goals and balancing the infringement the Commerce Clause Commerce
• Federal government regulates Federal commerce only if it crosses state lines commerce • Situation in 1787? • Situation in 2009? • Same rule, different result • Feds can regulate most commerce Feds Commerce Today Commerce
• Feds can regulate any commerce Feds affecting interstate commerce affecting • States can pass laws that don’t:
– Conflict with federal laws – Put a burden on interstate commerce Commerce Clause Cases Commerce
• 1824 Gibbons v. Ogden: Fed can regulate if 1824 Gibbons Fed “Substantially affects” Interstate commerce “Substantially • 1942Filburn: Home wheat consumption? • Iowa truck length case • Laws favoring local business • New York auto defroster requirement • California auto emissions standards • Interstate online wine sales-2005 Freedom of Speech Freedom
• Political—fully protected (includes Political—fully corporations) corporations) • Commercial—limited protection
– Commercial = advertising – Regulated, but not prohibited – No cigarette ads on TV: OK? – Lawyer advertising bans? • Obscene v. Offensive speech Due Process Due
• Procedural-Deals with right to a trial; hearing Procedural-Deals before property is taken, etc. before • Substantive: Law must be clear enough for a Substantive: reasonable person to determine its meaning reasonable
– Some vagueness is OK – Examples
• • • Vagrancy statutes Montana Speed Limit Illinois town anti-gang law Equal Protection Clause Equal
• Government must treat similarly situated Government persons similarly….. persons …..unless there are legitimate grounds ..unless not to. not • Law or action’s purpose is balanced Law against the distinction against Equal protection clause Equal
• 3 Levels of scrutiny
– Strict: Race distinctions – Intermediate: Age or gender – Rational Basis: all other distintions • Level of scrutiny: How hard is it to Level justify the law’s distinction? justify Race distinctions Race
• Strict scrutiny applied • Only rarely is a race distinction in the Only law ok law • Affirmative action programs sometimes Affirmative ok ok Age distinctions Age
• • • Intermediate Scrutiny Easier to justify Age
– Drinking age – Social security – Age discrimination act – Draft eligibility Gender distinctions (and legitimacy) legitimacy)
• • • Intermediate Scrutiny Easier to justify Gender
– Mandated Insurance Rates – Mandated Health Insurance Benefits – Draft Registration All other distinctions All
• • • Rational Basis Very easy to justify Examples
– Out of state tuition – Liquor store closings – Car dealership closings – Other industry-specific laws Privacy Rights Privacy
• Only recently recognized in Constitution • Statutory rights to privacy re the Statutory government government • Invasion of privacy by individuals? ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2010 for the course BCOR 3000 at Colorado.