Law School Outline - Constitutional Law by PrestigeLegalDoc

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									                 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OUTLINE

       About this outline: This is an outline from a Constitutional Law course at a top law
school. Use this Outline as a study aid for a law school course or as a guide to learning
Constitutional Law.

Federal Judicial Powers
    Justiciability= federal courts are limited to cases & controversies
          o Standing= Injury (must be or imminently will be injured), Causation (∆ caused
              or will cause injury), Redressibility (favorable decision will remedy the injury).
              Federal court cannot issue advisory opinions.
          o 3rd Party Standing: General Rule=not allowed. Exceptions (1) close relationship
              (i.e. doctor-patient); (2) Injured 3rd Party unable to assert own rights (i.e.
              peremptory challenges); (3) Organization (members must have standing; interests
              relevant to Org’s purpose.)
          o No Generalized Grievances: π cannot sue solely as a citizen or a taxpayer;
              Exception= challenging government expenditures under the Establishment Clause
              ($ only; not property)
          o Ripeness: pre-enforcement review. If hardship will be suffered without pre-
              enforcement review & court has everything it needs to decide.
          o Mootness: π must present a live controversy, if injury ends, so does case;
              Exceptions: (1) capable of repetition but evading review (Roe); (2) ∆ voluntarily
              ceases but can resume anytime; (3) Class Action suits (if named π’s claim
              becomes moot, action can continue)
          o Political Question: Constitutional violations Fed Courts won’t adjudicate; 4
              Types: (1) “republican form of govt”; (2) Challenges against Prez’s foreign
              policy; (3) Challenges to impeachment and removal; (4) challenges to partisan
              gerrymandering (drawing legislative seats)
    Supreme Court Review- virtually all cases come before court by writ of certiorari
          o Writ of Certiorari: (1) 4 SC justices vote to hear case; (2) all cases of US Ct of
              Appeals (discretionary); (3) appeals from 3-Judge Federal District Courts
              (Mandatory); (4) Suits between States.
          o Final Judgment Rule: must be a final judgment of the highest state court; US
              Appellate Court; or of a 3-Judge Federal District Court.
          o Adequate & Independent State Grounds: if state court decision rests on two
              grounds; one state law and one federal law; if the SC’s reversal of the federal law
              ground will not change the result in the case, the SC cannot hear it.
    Lower Federal Court Review: Justiciability requirements must be met.
          o Rule: may not hear suits against state governments; 11th Amendment (bars suits
              against states in Federal Courts) & Sovereign Immunity (bars suits against states
              in state courts). Exceptions: (1) Waiver (explicit); (2) Due Process; (3) Federal

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                government may sue states. (4) States may sue states. Suits against state officers
                are allowed.
              o Abstention: Federal courts may not enjoin pending state court proceedings.

Federal Legislative Powers
    Congress’ Authority to Act:
          o Express or Implied Congress Power: all Congress’ powers come from
                    No express Police Power.             Exceptions: (1) Military; (2) Indian
                      Reservations; (3) Federal Lands & Territories; (4) Washington DC.
          o Necessary & Proper Clause: Congress has the power to use any means
              necessary to carry out its specifically granted powers.
          o Taxing/Spending Powers: Congress can tax & spend for the General Welfare
              (create any tax it and spend it how it sees fit).
          o Commerce Clause: Congress can regulate (1) channels of interstate commerce
              (i.e. highways, waterways, internet); (2) instrumentalities of Interstate
              Commerce (i.e. trucks, planes, internet); (3) activities that have a substantial
              effect on interstate commerce.
          o 10th Amendment: Reserve Powers: all powers not granted to the US, nor
              prohibited by the states, are reserved to the states or the people.
                    Congress cannot compel state regulatory or legislative action (i.e Brady
                    Congress may prohibit harmful commercial activity by state governments.
                      (ie Fed Law can prohibit state DMV from releasing personal info)
          o Section 5 of 14th Amendment: gives Congress power to adopt laws to protect
              14th Amendment; cannot create new rights, only laws that protect preexisting
              rights, as long as they are Proportionate & Congruent to protecting the rights or
              remedying violations
    Delegation Powers
          o No limit on Congress’ right to delegate legislative powers
          o Legislative vetoes and Line-Item vetoes= unconstitutional. Must be bicameralism
              and presentment (president must sign bill in its entirety).
          o Congress cannot delegate executive powers to itself or itself offices. “congress
              can give but congress can’t take”

Federal Executive Powers
    Foreign Policy
          o Treaties= agreements between US and foreign country. Must be ratified by
             Senate. Rules: (1) prevail over existing state law; (2) if conflicts with federal
             statute; last in time wins; (3) If treaty conflicts with Constitution, treaty is
          o Executive Agreements= agreements between US and head of foreign country,
             effective when signed. Need not be ratified. (1) can be used for any purpose;
             (2) prevail over conflicting state laws; (2) do NOT prevail over federal statutes or
             the Constitution.

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