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Liberal - Constiutional powers are read broadly, implied, and not bound to legislative purposes.
Strict - Constitutional powers are read narrowly, cannot be implied, and must be strictly bound to legislative purposes.
Congress goes ahead and repeals portions of the Habeas Corpus Act to strip the Court of jurisdiction over McCardle’s claim, fearing that SCOTUS would shoot the reconstruction act down. Justice Chase finds that SCOTUS has appellate jurisdiction UNLESS it is restricted so by Congress. Congress’ removal of portions of the Habeas Corpus Act was constitutional.
In 1851, Texas received $5 million in bonds from the federal government with 5% redeemable in interest. In the 1860s, Texas used the money for war funds. SCOTUS rules that Texas is a state, but the actions of secessionist Texas are unconstitutional. The government during secession was illegitimate.
After the Civil War, Lee sued Knox for the purchase price of the sheep. Knox was liable and offered to pay the debt in paper currency. Lee claimed this was not as valuable as gold and silver and sued which went to SCOTUS. SCOTUS ruled to overrule Hepburn v. Griswold stating that the government COULD require creditors to take pay debts with paper currency. Changes Hepburn because two new replacements on Supreme Court sway the majority opinion on the Legal Tender Act.
In 1869, Louisiana required that all butchering in New Orleans be done at one slaughterhouse controlled by the Crescent City Live-Stock Landing and Slaughtering Company.Private butchers believed this infringed upon their rights. Appeal to SCOTUS. SCOTUS rules against the butchers. The Privileges and Immunities Clause in the 14th amendment refers only to the United States citizenship.
At the end of Reconstruction, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875. This act gave federal protection against racial discrimination in public. SCOTUS agree in an 8-1 decision that the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional. Discrimination in theatres, inns, ships, trains, etc. does not enslave anyone, nor is the Civil Right Act ‘Necessary and Proper’ to abolish slavery.
In the late 1800s, railroad companies were competitive on long-haul routes, but monopolies controlled short-haul routes. Illinois passed a law to prohibit this rate discrimination. SCOTUS ruled the law unconstitutional. This is an issue of interstate commerce under the exclusive power of Congress (National Government).
In 1892, the American Sugar Refining Co. gains control over the E.C. Knight Co., giving them control of over 98% of sugar in the U. S. Department of Justice argued that this monopoly violated the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act. SCOTUS rules in an 8-1 ruling they do not.Manufacturing is not subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause. Manufacturing is the transformation of raw material while commerce is the buying, selling, and transportation of that material
Champion v. Ames (1903) [Lottery]
Some states begin using lotteries as a method raising revenue. In 1895, anti-gambling activists help pass through Congress a federal ban on the interstate trafficking of lottery tickets.C.F. Champion is arrested for smuggling lottery tickets across the country. SCOTUS agrees this prohibition is a legitimate regulation.
In 1916, the Keating-Owen Act bans interstate shipment of goods made with child labor. A South Carolina father, Dagenhart, seeks an injunction so his sons can remain working. SCOTUS rules that the law is unconstitutional. Under the precedent of E.C. Knight, the child labor is not part of interstate commerce, because it is considered ‘manufacturing.’
In 1921, Congress passes the Maternity Act, which authorizes an agreement by which the federal government would fund states that joined this federal program to protect the health of mothers and infants. Mrs. Frothingham and the state of Massachusetts sought to enjoin the Secretary of State for using federal spending. SCOTUS rules they do not have legal standing. Simply saying as a state they think the law is unconstitutional or they don’t like it is NOT enough.
Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act of 1867. Statute stated that postmasters could NOT be removed unilaterally. Frank Myers is appointed as postmaster in 1917 by President Wilson. In 1920, Myers is removed from office by the president without notification to the Senate. SCOTUS rules that the Tenure of Office Act is unconstitutional. Statutory restrictions on the president’s removal powers are unconstitutional.
The Tariff Act of 1922 introduced the ‘flexible tariff’ which authorized the President to raise tariff rates on items by up to 50%. In 1924, President Coolidge heavily raised tariff rates on barium dioxide (a hair bleaching product) by 50%. Did this essentially because it was proven that barium dioxide was a toxic product. SCOTUS rules this is a legitimate exercise of Congress’s power. The goal is to equalize the prices of imports.
In 1933, Congress passes the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). Allowed industries to establish regulations on wages, hours, and working conditions. Had to then form an agreement with NIRA for these conditions, which would be enforced by the National Government. Scheter Poultry was found guilty of violating fair competition standards previously set by the NIRA. SCOTUS unanimously rules the National Industrial Recovery Act is unconstitutional.
In 1935, Congress passes the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which required businesses to recognize unions and pay minimum wages (Interstate Commerce). Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp were charged with interfering with unionization standards (paying workers under minimum wages).·In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled the NLRA was constitutional under the Commerce Clause. Argued that intrastate activities have a CLOSE and SUBSTANTIAL relationship.
In 1938, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) limited the amount of land on which farmers could produce wheat. Penalized farmers who exceeded the national quota. Roscoe Fillburn exceeds his quota, but kept what for his own consumption. Seeks an injunction. SCOTUS unanimously rules Filburn's activities WERE subject to regulation.
In 1923, Congress passed the Filled Milk Act, banning filled milk from interstate commerce, because it was unhealthy and unnatural. Carolene Products appeals to SCOTUS saying this is unconstitutional. They argued that Congress overstepped its commerce power and infringed upon state rights. Also argued Congress was taking away Carolene Products’ property rights. SCOTUS rules the Filled Milk Act is constitutional because it is very unhealthy.
In 1957, the Governor of Arkansas defies a judicial order and tries to block desegregation in Little Rock school district. President Eisenhower sends troops to enforce desegregation within the schools. School board appeals in fear of violence breaking out. · SCOTUS unanimously rules state officials are bound to these orders and that desegregation must be reinstated immediately.
Tennessee voters sued the state.Argued that their malaportioned state legislative districts violated the Equal Protection Clause. SCOTUS rules this issue is justiciable via the equal protection clause, not the Guarantee Clause. Argues that the voters of Tennessee have no other relief than the courts. The courts MUST solve this unfairness of districting because a broken state cannot solve this issue themselves.
Congress passed Elementary and Secondary Education Act providing assistance to low income families. Some of the funds went to religious schools. Some believed this was a 1st amendment violation and filed for an injunction. Claimed they had the right as taxpayers to have standing. SCOTUS rules they do when the law was passed under Congress’s taxing and spending power and it exceeds specific constitutional limitations.
Georgia required that whites must have a permit to live on Cherokee land in the state. Samuel Austin Worcester, a missionary was convicted for violating this law. Georgia claimed that the federal government was not empowered to grant Native Americans sovereignty over lands within a state.
SCOTUS rules that the federal government WAS empowered to make treaties with Native American tribes and that states CANNOT exercise sovereignty over national treaties made with tribes.
In 1829, George Miln’s ship, “The Emily,” arrives in New York from Liverpool, England. New York law required out-of-state ships to provide written information and to post a bond for incoming passengers. Miln’s ship provided the city of New York with neither. Miln argues that New York was trying to regulate interstate commerce which infringes upon federal powers. SCOTUS rules that the New York City Law is constitutional as this is a state police power.
In 1803 Pennsylvania required foreign and large ships using the port of Philadelphia to employ a local pilot. Aaron Cooley chose not to employ a pilot for two ships using the port. The Board of Wardens of Philadelphia brought legal action in state court to collect pilot fees from Cooley. Cooley argues that the law is unconstitutional and violated either the interstate commerce clause or violated the 1789 federal statute. SCOTUS rules that Pennsylvania could constitute regulations of navigation.
John Merryman was an outspoken secessionist in Maryland. Maryland is a Union State, but being very close to the South, many people here are also secessionist. If Maryland were to secede, this would upset the balance and the Union might lose the Civil War. In 1861, Lincoln suspends habeas corpus; the Union army detains suspected rebels, including Merryman. Lincoln ends up disregarding Taney’s opinion
The State of Mississippi sought an injunction against President Andrew Johnson from enforcing the Reconstruction Act (Troops enforce reconstruction in the South). Mississippi argued that Reconstruction violated state sovereignty and individual rights. SCOTUS rules the answer is no. Justice Chase argues that there is a distinction between ministerial and executive duties. It is beyond the Court’s power to tell the president how to perform his executive duties.
Set of reform programs by President Johnson to aid public education, voting rights, and conservation (Flast v. Cohen).
Test that established whether congress’s exercising of powers were valid if shown to regulate activities “substantially affecting” interstate commerce.
Article II, Section 2; “The president shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, and other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of the United States…”
Censure of Andrew Jackson
The Civil War as a Constitutional Crisis
Power granted to or used or taken by a public authority to meet the exigencies of a particular emergency (as of war or disaster) whether within or outside a constitutional frame of reference.
Mississippi v. Johnson (1867): Can the court command the president to execute an unconstitutional law?
The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
The 16th Amendment
The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
o When the law in question was passed under Congress’s taxing and spending power (Art. I, Section 8, Clause 2)
o When the law allegedly exceeds specific contribution all limitations
Provisions in Article I, Section 1/Article II, Section 1, Clause 1/and Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution. These vest the legislative, executive, and judicial powers in the Congress, President, and federal judiciary (SCOTUS, and the then-created inferior courts), respectively.
FDR proposes reorganization of SCOTUS
o For every sitting justice over 70, FDR could appoint an additional justice to the Supreme Court.
o Plan failed in Senate and did not have public support
The Rational Basis Test
Direct/Indirect Effects Test
In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. This act banned registration requirements such as literacy tests that were used to suppress the black vote. South Carolina challenged this act. SCOTUS rules Congress may use any rational means (rational basis test) necessary to make changes to voting requirements that they see fit based on fact finding about their effects on the voter constituency.
In 1974, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to apply to state and municipal employees. Multiple states argued this violated state rights (before FLSA only applied to private employees). SCOTUS rules in a 5-4 vote that this violates the 10th Amendment. This overruled Maryland v. Wirtz (1968). This was the 1st case in 40 years where a federal law was struck down for violating the 10th Amendment.
After National League of Cities the San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (SAMTA) was immune from FLSA (Federal Labor Standards Act).The Department of Labor argued that FLSA should apply to SAMTA. SCOTUS rules that the 10th Amendment did not prohibit this. Explicitly overrules National League of Cities. Argued that the traditional government function is inconsistent with established principles of federalism.
In 1985, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act set budget deficit targets for the next 5 years in order to balance the budget. If the deficit exceeded the targets, it would trigger across the board budget cuts. The Comptroller General would then decide how to make these cuts while the president would implement them. SCOTUS rules in a 5-4 vote it is unconstitutional to give the Comptroller General this power because this is a legilative position not an executive one.
Meese wrote a famous paper during the Reagan administration entitled ‘The Law of the Constitution.’ Established the necessary distinction between the Constitution and Constitutional Law.
Paula Jones, a former state employee and colleague of Bill Clinton, sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton argued that the lawsuit be stayed (put off) until his presidency was over. This was because he believed his responsibilities as president took precedent over the case. SCOTUS unanimously rules Clinton is not immune and trial continues.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 allowed victims of gender-motivated violence to sue their assailants in Civil Court. Christy Brzonkala, a freshman at Virginia Tech gets raped by two students. She sues her attacker and the case is appeal to SCOTUS. SCOTUS argues in a 5-4 decision they do not as this is NOT a commerce issue. Ultimately SCOTUS believed this is a weak claim as gender-motivated violent crimes are not economic activity.
Interest groups sued Dick Cheney for violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972. Cheney chaired the short lived National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG). NEPDG’s members included executive branch officials, but the plaintiffs complained that energy lobbyists were members as well. Plaintiffs sought documents related to NEPDG, but Cheney claimed executive privilege. The lower courts ruled executive privilege is constitutional in this case versus Nixon, because this is a civil trial.
Yaser Hamdi was a U.S. citizen who was raised in Saudi Arabia. He was captured in Afghanistan and transferred to Guantanamo Bay Prison where he was labeled an ‘enemy combatant.’ Held indefinitely without trial. SCOTUS rules in a 6-3 vote to remand (send back) the case w/ new guidelines. Enemy combatants must be notified of their reasoning for incarceration and this label as well as have a chance to defend themselves in court. Also these trials would have to bend the rules of a regular criminal trial.
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 prohibits marijuana due to it being a Schedule 1 narcotic.
In 1996, California passed a law allowing medical marijuana use known as the Compassionate Use Act. Angel Raich and Diane Monson used medical marijuana under California law. DEA found the two violating the CSA. SCOTUS rules the California law is unconstitutional. Argues there is an established illegal, interstate market so drug trade is commerce.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must regulate ‘the emission of any air pollution.’ In 2003, the EPA claimed it could not and would not regulate greenhouse gases. Several states sued the EPA, because they would not incorporate this regulation.
SCOTUS rules Massachusetts has standing.’To bring suit, you need to show that, you have suffered a legal injury traceable to the defendant. Massachusetts coastal lands have been partially swallowed by rising sea levels due to global warming.
In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This act mandated that everyone in the United States purchase health care insurance. The court ruled in a 5-4 vote that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is constitutional under the Tax Clause, not the Commerce Clause. The individual mandate creates commerce, which is fundamentally different than regulating commerce. The act describes the payment as a ‘penalty’ not a ‘tax,' which is okay for constitutional purposes.
In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, which amends the state constitution to read ‘Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in California.’ 2 same-sex couples wishing to marry challenged Proposition 8 in federal court. State officials refused to defend Proposition 8 in court; so they allowed the official proponents of Proposition 8 to defend it. In a 5-4 vote, SCOTUS rules the initiative proponents did NOT have standing. SCOTUS fails to answer whether Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendment.
13th-Slavery had been abolished in the former Confederacy by the Emancipation Proclamation, and everywhere else (as of December 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment.
14thoffered the first constitutional definition of American citizenship.
15th-forbade deny suffrage to any citizen on account of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
The executive vesting clause is found in Article II Section One of the Constitution. A vesting clause is a clause, which gives power to an institution in this case it gives the executive branch power to execute the instructions of Congress.
Congress stipulates various things about who has the power to go to war. President has to notify congress within 48 hours of deciding to send troop overseas. Time limit on how long the president can keep troops overseas without congressional approval. After 60 days if not approved by congress, President has to bring troops home. Nixon vetoed this act while still in office.
The power of a chief executive to reject part of a bill while approving the larger piece of legislation (Clinton v. City of New York).
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