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Cloned from: MBE ConLaw Part 1



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Federal Judicial Power
Article III of Const. Before a plaintiff can sue in federal courts, he must show that there is an actual case and controversy -standing, mootness, and ripeness  
Standing
Whether P is the proper party to bring the matter - Injury: P has been injured or will be injured - Causation and redressability: D caused the harm so a favorable court decision would remedy the injury Note; Generally no 3rd party standing and no generalized grievances (except taxpayer challenging gov't expenditure pursuant to fed. statues as violating the establishment clause)
Organizational Standing
An organization may sue for its members if 1) the members would have standing to sue; 2) the interests are germane to the organization's purpose 3) neither the claim nor the releif requires participation of individual members
Ripeness
a P generally is not entitled to review of a state law before it is enforced. Thus, a federal court will nto hear a case unless the plaintiff has been harmed or there is an immediate threat of harm.
mootness
If events after the filing of a lawsuit end the plaintiff's injury, the cae may be dismissed as moot. Exceptions - wrong capable of repitition but avoiding review - voluntary cessation - class action suits (where at least one class member has an ongoing injury)
Supreme Court Review
- Virtually all cases come to the SC by writ of certiorari - SC has original and exclusive juridsiction for suits between state governments - SC may hear cases only afte there has been a final judgment of the highest state court, of a US Court of Appeals, or of a 3 judge federal district court. - SC will only hear a sate court decision if there is NO INDEPENDENT AND ADEQUATE STATE LAW GROUND of the decision. If SC reversal of the federal law ground will nto change the result in the case, the SC can't hear it.
Lower federal court review
1) Federal Courts (because of the 11th Amendment), and state courts (because of sovereign immunity) may not hear suits against state governments except where - waiver permitted - Fed. government may sue state governments - Bankruptcy proceedings note: 11th Amendment protects only state governments, not local. 2) Federal Courts may not enjoin pending state court proceedings
Federal Legislative Power: Congressional authority to act
- Must be express or implied Congressional power; no general Federal police power unless legislating for D.C., indian reservations, the military -Neceary and proper clause; any means not prohibited by the Constitution - Taxing/ spending power and commerce power: may tax and spend for the general welfare  
Commerce Power
-Congress may regulate the channels of interstate commerce - Congress may regulate the instrumentalities of interstate commerce - Congress may regulate economic activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. (in the area of nonecominic activity, a substantial effect can not be based on cumulative impact)
Limits on Congretional power
1) 10th Amendment states that all powers not granted to the US, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people. - Congress can't compel state regulatory or legislative action. - Congress may prohibit harmful commercial activity by state governments. 2) Congress' power under section 5 of the 14th Amendment - Congress may not create new rights or expand the scope of rights. Congress may act only to preent or remedy violations of rights recognized by courts and such laws must be "proportionate" and "congruent" ro remedying constitutional violations.
Congressional Delegation of power
1) No limits exists on Congress' ability to delegate legislative power. 2) Legislative vetos and line-item vetos are unconstitutional. For Congress to act there myst always be bicameralism and presentment . 3)Congress may not delegate executive powers to itself or its officers
Federal Executive Power: Foreign Policy
- Treaties: negotiations between the US and another country, negotiated by the Pres. and effective when ratified by 2/3 of senate. -Executive Agreements: Agreement between the US and a foreign country that is effective when signed by the President and the head of a foreign nation. - President has broad powers as Commander-in-Chief to use American troops in foreign countries.
Rank: Treaties, executive agreements, state laws, federal laws, and Constitution
-Treaties prevail over conflicting state laws - If a reaty conflicts with a federal statute, the one adopted last in time controls. - If treaty conflicts with US Constitution, treaty is invalid - Executive Agreements prevail over conflicting state laws, but never over conflicting federal laws or the Constitution
Federal Executive Power: Domestic Affairs
1) Appointment and removal 2) Impeachment and removal 3) Absolute immunity to civil suits for money damages for any actions while in office 4) Executive privilege for presidential papers and conversations BUT such privilege must yield to other important government interests. 5) The President has the power to pardon those accused of or convicted of federal crimes.
Who can the president appoint?
-The President Appints ambassadors, federal judges, and officers of the United States. - Congress may vest the appointment of inferior officers int he President, the heads of departments or the lower federal courts
Who can the President fire?
Unless removal is limited by statute, the President may fire any executive branch office. -Congress may limit (but NOT prohibit) removal if it is an office where independence from the President is desirable/ where there is good cause
Who can be impeached and why?
President, Vice President, federal judges, and officers of the Unites States can be impeached and removed - for treason, bribery, or for high crimes and misdemeanors How: - Majority vote by the House of Representatives and 2/3 conviction in the Senate
Federalism: Limits on state and local government power
- Preemption - Dormant Commerce clause - Privileges and immunities clause - State taxation of interstate commerce - Full faith and credit
Preemption
The Supremecy Clause of Article 6 provides that the Constitution and laws and treaties made pursuant to it, are the supreme law of the land. 1) Express preemption: where the federal statute explicitly says the law is exclusive in the field. 2) Premption can be implied - if fed. and state laws are mutually exclusive, federal law preempts state law - if state law impedes the achievement of a fedral objective, federal law preempts state law - If Congress evidences a clear intent to preempt state law, federal law preempts state law 3) States can not tax or regulate federal government activity (inter-governmental immunity)
Dormant Commerce Clause
Principle that state or local law is unconstitutional if it places an undue burden on interstate commerce
Privileges and Immunities Clause
of Artivle 4- No state may deprive citizens of other states of the privileges and immunities it provides its own citizens of the 14th Amendment- For our purposes only a possibility if it has to do with the right to travel. -includes the right of newly arrived citizens to enjoy the same privileges and immunities as enjoyed by other citizens of the state.
Does the state or local government action discriminate against out-of-staters? Yes?
Analysis if yes -if the law burdens interstate commerce, it violates the dormant commerce clause unless it is necessary to achieve an important government purpose. I.E. no less discriminatory alternative can achieve the objective. (Exceptions: Market participant or Congressional approval) -If the law discriminates against out-of-staters with regard to their ability to earn their livelihood, it violates the P and I clause if Art. 4 unless it is necessary to achieve an important government purpose
Market participant doctrine
A state or local government may prefer its own citizens in receiving benefits from government programs or in dealing with government-owned businesses
Does the state or local government action discriminate against out-of-staters? No?
- The P and I clause of Art. 4 doesn't apply - If the law burdens interstate commerce, it violates the Dormant Commerce Clause if its burdens exceed its benefits (balancing test)
State taxation of interstate commerce
1) State may not use their tax system to help in-state businesses 2) A state may only tax activites if there is a substantial nexus to the state 3) State taxation of interstate business must be failry apportioned
State or local discriminatory tax which clause?
- While a state or local tax discriminates against interstate commerce gernerally violates the Commerce Clause, also consider the I and P clause of Article 4 and the Equal Protection Clause (where Congress has approved the discrimination, or where the tax is based on a suspect classification or infringes a FR)
Can Corporations and aliens sue under the DCC or P and I?
Yes under the DCC No under P and I
Full Faith and Credit
Courts in one state must give full faith and credit to judgments of courts in another state so long as 1) the court that rendered the judgment had jxn over the parties and the subject matter 2) the judgment was on the merits 3) the judgment is final
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