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Law Outlines Constitutional Law Outlines

Constitutional Law Study Group Outline

Updated Constitutional Law Study Group Notes

Constitutional Law Outlines

Constitutional Law

Approximately 9 pages

A 9-page collation of cases, with descriptions, tracing a semester-long 2L constitutional law course at the University of Michigan. The course focused on issues of federalism, with a separate semester (not included) devoted to personal freedoms....

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Constitutional Law Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Marbury v. Madison - SC doesn't have original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus; court couldn't order Sec. of State to make a guy a judge Cooper v. Aaron - Arkansas has to desegregate schools despite their disagreement with the SC over what the Constitution says; confirmed judicial supremacy in constitutional interpretation, though others can still interpret - just have to submit to SC when it steps in Ex parte McCardle - Newspaper editor imprisoned during Reconstruction, files habeas corpus petition; SC can't do anything because Congress took away their appellate jurisdiction (which it can do). Luther v. Borden - RI rebellion; Luther suing Borden for trespass. IV.4 = Guaranty Clause (Republican government protected by Fed); SC punts it, says Congress needs to resolve the situation of whose government is legit (as they kind of already have, when they sat RI's representatives/Senators) Baker v. Carr - Tennessee redistricting question, where the SC said this is justiciable under the 14th Amendment (equal protection). Political questions defined p. 40 of packet; Frankfurter dissented, noting that this looked like Guaranty Clause claim that was decided the other way under Luther v. Borden McCulloch v. MD - Necessary and proper clause leads to being able to do things that aren't explicitly enumerated; Cong can establish a bank. States have residual police power. Gibbons v. Ogden - Ferry boat case; collision between fed and state laws. I.8 = commerce clause, in case of conflict, Fed wins. Opens question of whether state and fed law can overlap at all, though obviously if they do, Fed law supreme. Wilson v. Black Bird Creek Marsh Co. - DE dam crashed into by boat; boat owner argues that state can't build a dam that impedes navigation/interstate commerce. Court says Cong could have legislated in this area if it wanted, but it didn't, so DE still can exercise police power. Overlap allowed, Fed would just triumph. NY v. Miln - Shipmaster fined for not filing report on immigrants he brought in, pursuant to NY law providing means to deport immigrants who became charges of the state on the shipmaster's account. SC didn't reach the question of whether commerce power only belonged to Congress, but decided that this was a police power and the state could regulate it. All the opinions agree that Cong. could regulate this if they wanted (Gibbons was also about people). Story's dissent and Baldwin's concurrence both agree this is commerce, but disagree about whether state can regulate. Passenger and License Cases - Tax on passengers struck down and license for alcohol sales upheld. Court still couldn't agree on whether commerce power was concurrent. Cooley v. Philly - Pilot case. Concurrence or exclusivity depends on subject matter; something like ships arriving in cities falls under state's power because Cong. doesn't have time to deal with it (at least they haven't yet). Prigg v. PA - SC strikes down PA law which required slave-catchers to get a warrant prior to capturing the person (clever reasoning is that keeping the process federal actually slows it down and makes it more difficult for slave-catchers to do their job). Three alternative reasons argued by slave-catcher: 1. Power exclusive to Cong. 2. Cong. "occupied the field" - "field preemption" - like Story's dissent in Miln 3. "Conflict pre-emption" - if Cong. passed a conflicting reg, then state can't. 2 alternative holdings: first or second things work here for the holding. Case about concurrent/exclusive discussion, and holding seems to be that "this depends"! Depends on nature of thing being regulated. (Southern states wouldn't trust North to enforce Fugitive Slave Law, so must be federal in this case.) Cohens v. VA - VA law banning lottery ticket sales upheld. Important thing is, SC exerted authority over a state criminal law; ominous foreshadowing to Civil War. Legal Tender Cases: Hepburn v. Griswold - Can Congress create paper legal tender for existing and future debts? No; this interferes with contracts, and Cong. somehow doesn't have this right. Discussion about whether Cong. has powers not expressly granted, but prohibited to States. Knox v. Lee and Parker v. Davis - Same issue. Not all powers expressly written; some stuff falls under "necessary and proper" even if not triggered by a specific enumerated power, but combination. Juilliard v. Greenman - Are greenbacks permanent, now that CW emergency expired? Big shift - decided the power to borrow money and provide a nat'l currency gives Cong. ongoing power. Crandall v. Nevada - Tax on outgoing passengers from NV. Case refers back to Cooley, and puts travel among the states exclusively under Cong. jurisdiction. "Right to travel" - states can't impede. Majority uses McCulloch's necessary and proper reasoning. Sherlock et al v. Alling - Estate initiated tort action under Indiana statute letting estate file deceased person's claim. Court upheld law based on state police power acting "indirectly" on interstate commerce. "Direct" vs. "indirect" test. Hall v. Decuir - Anti-discrimination statute struck down because it interferes with commerce, placing "direct burden." Smith v. Alabama - Train driver required to take state licensing exam; alleges it interferes with interstate commerce. Court says this was police power, upholds law. US v. E.C. Knight - Sherman antitrust suit with a sugar company. Manufacturing is not interstate commerce. Champion v. Ames - Interstate transport of lottery tickets. Does regulation include prohibition? Yes. Also, Cong. power to regulate interstate commerce is plenary. Weber v. Freed - Racist boxing film prohibition. Law upheld (same reasoning as Champion) - Cong. has power to regulate interstate commerce, even if they're regulating morality (like police power) Shreveport Rate Cases - TX was trying to affect interstate commerce with different shipping rates. Can Cong. regulate intrastate stuff that affects interstate? Yes. Necessary and proper to regulate intrastate to achieve end of regulating interstate. Hammer v. Dagenhart - Congress bans interstate transport of goods produced using child labor. Struck down, because purpose of statute is wrong, trying to interfere with intrastate affairs. Can't really square this with Champion v. Ames. US v. Doremus - Heroin-selling taxed. D said illegitimate intrusion into police power, while government claimed it was a revenue measure. Held to be permissible as long as there is a plausible revenue purpose. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture - Congress taxed child labor, but law struck down because it looked too much like a penalty. Rule to this day from these two cases: tax = OK, penalty not. MO v. Holland - Migratory birds treaty. Can a treaty make a law constitutional which otherwise would have been unconstitutional? Yes - short of violating affirmative prohibitions. US v. Curtiss-Wright - Company prosecuted for selling arms to Bolivia. D said law authorizing Pres. to ban arms sales an unconstitutional delegation of power. Court says delegated powers are only relevant domestically; internationally, Pres. has certain sovereign powers that are inherent to the government. Burroughs v. US - Court upheld law requiring reporting of political contributions. Power to uphold integrity of elections implied in Congress (similar to Curtiss-Wright). Schechter Poultry Corp. v. US - Labor requirements of National Industrial Recovery Act overturned. Opposite end of Hammer/EC Knight - chickens have arrived in NY, to be sold locally, no longer in interstate commerce. Gov't tries to argue that this has effect on interstate commerce, but court says it's indirect effect. Cardozo's dissent argues for standard instead of rule, worried that rule will threaten federalist system as increasingly interconnected world pushes line. Carter v. Carter Coal - Coal mining isn't in stream of interstate commerce yet. Mirror image of Schechter. Gov't argued that local coal production has effect on interstate market, but failed. US v. Butler - Agricultural Adjustment Act subsidy struck down. Spending and taxing power at issue. Justices choose Hamiltonian view that you can spend for the general welfare. Contradiction: can tax, because that's an enumerated power, but can't spend it this way, because suddenly we're analyzing whether the end is legitimate!

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