Chapter 1. Judicial Review and Its Limits 66 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Under the Supremacy Clause of Art. VI, state judges are bound by the United States Constitution notwithstanding contrary state law. This has been read to confer upon state court judges the power of judicial review even over federal laws. The Art. III subject matter jurisdiction of the Supreme Court includes cases arising under the Constitution. Since the state court has decided the constitutional question originally, the Supreme Court has power to review the issue by way of appellate jurisdiction. Coupled with this argument based on the constitutional text, Story added a policy justification based on the need for uniformity in federal constitutional interpretation. The Constitution must not mean 50 different things in 50 different jurisdictions. This thesis was later echoed by Holmes when he argued that the Union would not be imperiled if the Court lost its power of judicial
- But the real question is who decides that a law is repugnant to the Constitution. For Marshall, the answer was simple. It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. The Constitution is not moral advice; it has the force of law. Indeed, it is fundamental law. But is interpretation of the Constitution equivalent to an interpretation of ordinary law? Congress may correct an erroneous judicial interpretation of a law but only constitutional amendment can revise judicial interpretation of the Constitution. Further, it can be argued that judicial delineation of vague concepts such as equal protection or due process partakes more of a policy or legislative decision than typical judicial interpretation of statute.
- A unanimous Supreme Court, per Justice Thomas, reversed on the ground that the pre-enforcement challenge to the Ohio false statement law was justiciable. The Court ruled that petitioners had alleged a sufficiently imminent injury on the basis of the three-part test for constitutional standing set forth in
- suggests the requirement’s lack of precision. Causality is a difficult concept whenever it is encountered in the law and it is no less so in the constitutional arena. It is certainly possible to argue that the Court’s treatment of the causality issue in
- disappeared, it is said that the case has become moot. In federal constitutional law, mootness obviously serves what are called prudential considerations in limiting the occasions for judicial review. But there is a constitutional dimension to the mootness doctrine which should be understood. A case or controversy requires a
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Chapter 10. Congressional Legislation in Aid of Civil Rights and Liberties 23 results (showing 5 best matches)
- , upheld an 1866 federal law which was read to prohibit even private discrimination in the sale or rental of real and personal property. In addressing the issue of Congress’ constitutional power, Justice Stewart, for the Court, held that the enabling clause of the Thirteenth Amendment “clothed ‘Congress with power to pass all laws necessary and proper for abolishing all badges and incidents of slavery in the United States.’ ” Since Congress could rationally conclude that the burden and disabilities of slavery include restraints upon the essence of civil freedom,
- . Justice Stewart’s opinion for the Court rested on the premise that the indictments alleging violation of federal civil rights laws contained an allegation of state involvement or alleged an interference with the right of interstate travel, a fundamental constitutional right which is not limited to state action. However, six justices concurring in
- Various constitutional amendments also recognize congressional legislative power to implement their guarantees. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth [women’s right to vote], Twenty-third [vote for the District of Columbia in presidential elections], Twenty-fourth [abolishing the poll tax], and Twenty-sixth [eighteen year old vote] Amendments all have provisions authorizing Congress to enforce their guarantees by appropriate legislation. In construing the congressional power under these constitutional grants, the Court has adopted the same broad perspective of congressional power that characterizes its treatment of the commerce and spending powers. So long as Congress could reasonably conclude that the legislation is in furtherance of the constitutional guarantee, Congress has power to legislate.
- The history of the Fourteenth Amendment reveals that Sec. 5, the Enforcement Clause, is of a remedial rather than a substantive nature. Fourteenth Amendment case law also rejects the idea that “Congress has a substantive, non-remedial power under the Fourteenth Amendment.”
- So long as Congress could reasonably conclude that the legislation will effectuate the constitutional prohibitions against racial discrimination in voting, the legislation is constitutional. Thus in
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Chapter 7. Freedom of Expression 135 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In most First Amendment litigation, the constitutional challenge is directed at the validity of the law “as applied” to the particular litigant. Under this “as applied” approach, a judicial determination of unconstitutionality does not render the law itself invalid but only renders void the particular application of the law. The law must be unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiff.
- There is, however, another vitally important approach. In addition (or as an alternative) to challenging the validity of the application of the law to himself, the litigant may challenge the validity of the law itself by arguing that the law is facially unconstitutional in that it is vague and/or overbroad. A court decision in the plaintiff’s favor in such circumstances results in the invalidation of the law. Further, in overbreadth challenges the litigant is allowed to raise the rights of third parties not before the Court who could not be reached under a properly drawn law. This is so even though the litigant himself is not affected by the overbreadth and could be validly regulated by a statute that was not overbroad. Because of concern about the chilling effect of overbroad laws on protected constitutional expression, an exception is made to the third party standing rule.
- Is the constitutional protection afforded the media limited only to publication or does the Constitution also provide protection to the process of gathering the news? In
- A narrowly drawn, content-neutral, reasonable time, place and manner control is constitutional even if it comes in the form of a prior restraint.
- the central constitutional task in obscenity cases has been identifying what expression qualifies as “obscenity.” It is a question of definition. Today, each element of a three-part test must be satisfied. It must be determined: “(a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find
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Chapter 4. Congress and the Executive Power 38 results (showing 5 best matches)
- withholding or delaying the expenditure of congressionally appropriated funds. When legislation vests discretion in the Executive to take such action, the constitutional problems are minimal. But in the 1970s, as the President increasingly used impoundments, it was claimed that constitutional power existed to impound funds even though
- reliance on the literal and excessive use of these “rigid categories” because they obscure the “real question”—are the restrictions on removal imposed by Congress “of such a nature that they impede the President’s ability to perform his constitutional duty?” Applying this approach in
- , found “constitutional underpinnings” for a conditional privilege relating to confidential communications between the President and his advisers on domestic matters. President Nixon, an unindicted co-conspirator, had asserted a claim of privilege in refusing to turn over tapes and other memoranda to a special grand jury investigating the Watergate break-in. The Court accepted the existence of a constitutionally based privilege flowing “from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties” and from “the nature of the enumerated powers.” However, the Court rejected the President’s claim (at least in cases not involving military, diplomatic or sensitive national security matters) that invoking the privilege was vested absolutely in the Executive free of judicial review. Chief Justice Burger, speaking for the Court, instead invoked
- The Line Item Veto Act provided still another terrain for the battle between formalism and functionalism. The Line Item Veto Act gave the President the power to “cancel in whole” three categories of provisions in statutes that had been signed into law—“(1) any dollar amount of discretionary budget authority; (2) any item of new direct spending; or (3) any limited tax benefit.”
- The checks and balances which characterize the tripartite nature of American government are illustrated in the constitutional provisions for appointment and removal of government officers. The strength of these provisions is in the limits they place on absolute power in any one Branch by dividing authority between Branches; the difficulty with them is in their silence on crucial questions. Congress may not vest the Appointment Power in persons other than those indicated in Art. II, Sec. 2, cl. 2 which provides: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law, but the Congress may by law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads...
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Chapter 5. Due Process of Law 83 results (showing 5 best matches)
- A significant body of abortion case law has addressed the constitutional issues raised by the privacy rights of minors. While the Court has consistently recognized that “[m]inors as well as adults are protected by the Constitution and possess constitutional rights,” it has also established that “the power of the state to control the conduct of children reaches beyond the scope of its authority over adults.”
- has not resolved all of the constitutional law questions which laws disadvantaging gay people present. For example, the question of the standard of review which should be applied to such legislation is still unsettled. However, there is no question that
- The second principle flowing from the Court’s case law relates to the reason the right to marry is a fundamental right.
- , holding constitutional against a substantive due process attack a state law limiting the business of debt adjusting to lawyers exclusively. Justice Black, for the Court, stated: “We have returned to the original constitutional proposition that courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies, who are elected to pass laws. Whether the legislature takes for its textbook, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Lord
- The basis for the departure from the rationality standard of review when fundamental personal rights are burdened is difficult to ascertain. If a law burdens an express constitutional right, perhaps more active review is understandable even though the right applies to state action only through its incorporation as part of Fourteenth Amendment liberty. But if the right is only judicially implied from the express rights, or is cut whole cloth through judicial use of extra-constitutional sources, what considerations justify judicial activism? In short, if
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Chapter 9. State Action 20 results (showing 5 best matches)
- With the exception of the Thirteenth Amendment, the guarantees of the Constitution run only against the national and state governments. Absent congressional legislation extending these rights to private conduct, “state action” is required. In part, this demand for governmental involvement to make the constitutional protections work is a matter of constitutional language,
- the amendments impose an affirmative duty on the states), correctable by congressional legislation, constitutional protection against a broader range of conduct might have become available. But the Court in the
- also rejected the claims that the Act was constitutional under the Thirteenth Amendment. Justice Bradley did accept that Sec. 1 of that Amendment abolished slavery, “established universal freedom,” and was self-executing against private misconduct. Congress pursuant to Sec. 2 of the Amendment could enact “primary and direct” legislation “abolishing all badges and incidents of slavery in the United States.” But these expansive premises were then undercut by the conclusion that an act of racial discrimination at a place of public accommodation “has nothing to do with slavery or involuntary servitude, and that if it is violative of any right of the party, his redress is to be sought under the laws of the State.” The Court rejected the premise that Sec. 1 of the Thirteenth Amendment was violated. Again, Justice Harlan’s dissent directly took issue with the Court. The Thirteenth Amendment, he asserted, was designed to protect the former slave “against the deprivation, on account of...
- was a narrow crack in the formidable wall to constitutional litigation created by the modern state action doctrine.
- rejected the dissent’s position that Proposition 14 was simply an assertion of official neutrality regarding private discrimination; that the law was “simply permissive in purpose and effect, and inoffensive on its face.” Instead, the Court deferred to the finding of the California Supreme Court that the “design and effect” of Proposition 14 was to overturn the state’s fair housing laws and to authorize private racial
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Table of Cases 2 results
Title Page 3 results
Introduction Constitutional Principles 4 results
- Constitutional law texts are generally divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to a study of the allocation of powers. This entails two basic principles of American constitutionalism—separation of powers and division of powers.
- Preservation of liberty in the American constitutional scheme is, however, not entirely dependent on the allocation of governmental powers. Limited government finds expression in the specification of rights and liberties for the
- Separation of powers discusses the interaction among the three constituent elements of the national government. Thus, Art. I of the Constitution is devoted to the powers of the legislative arm of the federal government, the Congress. Art. II sets forth the powers of the Executive and Art. III delineates and circumscribes the jurisdiction of the federal courts. But while these powers are institutionally separated, their exercise often overlaps. Thus, there emerges the need for recognition of another vital feature of American constitutional law, the principle of checks and balances. Although Congress can legislate, the President can veto. Similarly, while the President makes treaties, the Senate must give its advice and consent to make them effective. While the federal courts exercise a power of judicial review, it is the Congress which endows those courts with such jurisdiction as it chooses within the given parameters of Art. III.
- achieve national unity while preserving some degree of local autonomy. It strives at once to provide a structure for national government and to provide some protection for regional diversity. But a continuing question is the extent to which the values of federalism are to found in the constitutional allocating of powers or in the actual workings of the political process.
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Chapter 8. Freedom of Religion 31 results (showing 5 best matches)
- However, benefits can be denied if denial is the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid criminal law. Strict scrutiny would not be used in such circumstances. Where the general criminal law has the consequence of prohibiting a religious practice, imposing the lesser burden of denying of unemployment compensation benefits to persons violating the criminal law is constitutional.
- But while both components are part of our constitutional freedom of religion, the clauses often appear to conflict. Exemption from generally applicable laws when such laws burden a particular religion may serve the interests of religious freedom, but such exemptions can be perceived as government support for religion violative of the Establishment Clause. The proscription against religious establishment may bar government support for religion and religious institutions, but denial of public benefits and services (especially given the important role played by government in our lives), may impose hardships on religion presenting free exercise problems. A continuing problem is how to reconcile these potentially-
- , laws which make a religious practice unlawful, impose an especially severe burden on freedom of religion. In
- , involved the validity of an Alabama law requiring a one-minute period of silence “for meditation or voluntary prayer.” Applying the first prong of the
- , federal law criminalizing bigamy held constitutional], this view was quickly abandoned. Freedom to believe would be a hollow right without freedom to act pursuant to that belief. Prior to
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Chapter 6. Equal Protection 85 results (showing 5 best matches)
- State laws prohibiting the use of busing, at least when de jure segregation is present, are unconstitutional.
- The fundamental rights strand of equal protection law fashioned by the Warren Court appeared to offer an alternative to substantive due process and its taint of “Lochnerism.” Indeed, it was sometimes called “Substantive Equal Protection.” Further, the developing case law suggested that the states might be under an affirmative constitutional duty to equalize access to important government benefits and services such as welfare, education, housing and medical care. Perhaps the Equal Protection Clause could be a vehicle for attacking economic inequalities in the society.
- A highly confused area of equal protection law involves the treatment of economic obstacles such as fee requirements limiting access to criminal and civil justice. The primary source of confusion is the proper role of equal protection and procedural due process analysis. In
- The clearest example of fundamental rights equal protection law arises when a law discriminates in the right to engage in protected constitutional activity. For example, when a classification significantly burdens the exercise of express First Amendment rights, traditional rationality review is inappropriate. If a law bars all picketing of schools [
- to disadvantage it. This therefore presented a constitutional issue. Did the resulting “injury and indignity” constitutes a deprivation of part of the liberty which the Fifth Amendment protects. Relying on
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Chapter 3. State Power in American Federalism 36 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In constitutional law particularly, the same fact pattern may be approached under a number of overlapping constitutional alternatives. Thus, facts that could be resolved through a Commerce Clause analysis may be equally responsive to resolution under the Interstate Privileges and Immunities Clause of Art. IV, Sec. 2. Unfortunately, there is no particular Geiger counter which can predict when the courts will use one clause rather than the other or, possibly, use both clauses.
- States have broad police powers to legislate for the health, morals, and well-being of their citizens. But, like the national government, state action is subject to constitutional limitations arising either from specific guarantees or from the constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments. It is with the working out of the parameters of “Our Federalism” that the present chapter is concerned. Some constitutional powers are exclusively national in character; they do not admit of concurrent exercise by both the federal and state governments. For example, the war power and the power over foreign affairs are vested in the national government to the point that state regulation in the same area is essentially precluded. Other powers such as the power to raise revenues through taxation and the spending power are concurrent powers. An issue that often arises in federal-state constitutional conflicts is the extent of the power of the states. Do the states have...
- Of course, it is not always easy to identify a law which has a discriminatory impact on interstate commerce.
- Even if a law is not discriminatory that does not necessarily mean that it passes Commerce Clause muster. Although a law may be even-handed, it still can run afoul of the Dormant Commerce Clause if it imposes an excessive burden on interstate commerce. How is an “excessive” or undue burden on interstate commerce determined? It is determined by an inquiry into whether the regulatory interests of the state justify or outweigh the law’s impediment to the free movement of interstate commerce. An
- , the Supreme Court, per Justice Kennedy, ruled that three provisions of an Arizona state law imposing stringent regulations on illegal
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PART 2 9 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Limited government in the United States is achieved not only through the constitutional allocation of powers but also through the recognition of rights and liberties. The original Constitution contained few such specific guarantees. Art. I, Secs. 9 & 10, prohibit Congress and the states respectively from enacting bills of attainder,
- Framers. The Second Amendment was enacted in order to prevent the Congress from disarming the state militias and establishing a standing army. The constitutional debates as well as the text of the Second Amendment itself give no indication that there was any interest “in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian use of firearms” or in “enshrining the common law right of self-defense in the Constitution.” The right promulgated by the majority is not found in the Second Amendment but “is the product of today’s law-changing decision.” In sum, the dissenters contended that the Second Amendment protects the “right to keep and bear arms for certain military purposes” but in no way restricts the “Legislature’s power to regulate the nonmilitary use and ownership of weapons.”
- , the argument was made that the Bill of Rights was a limitation on the state governments as well as the federal government. John Marshall disagreed and ruled that, both as a matter of text and history, the states were not limited by the Bill of Rights. But a significant limitation on the state power was introduced into American constitutional law with the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment which was to become the vehicle through which much of the contents of the Bill of Rights were made binding on the states.
- . Justice Miller, for the Court, began with the premise that the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment creates two types of citizenship, federal and state. He then read the second sentence of the Amendment as extending federal constitutional protection only to the privileges or immunities of national citizenship. But what are the privileges or immunities attaching to
- therefore, should not be read as altering in any way prohibitions “on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.” Similarly, prohibitions against firearms in schools or government buildings were unaffected as were regulations “on the commercial sale of arms.” At the same time, the Court stressed that the right of self-defense is “central to the Second Amendment right.” The Court did not explain why these limitations are constitutional. Handguns are the popular choice for use in self-defense in the home. Consequently, a complete ban on the use of handguns was unconstitutional. The D.C. mandate that firearms be “kept inoperable at all times” was likewise invalid since it made it impossible for the citizenry to use them in self-defense. The Court provided no guidance on what other limitations on firearms, e.g., possession, firearms other than handguns, might be constitutional. Nor did the Court decide the issue of incorporation.
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Foreword to the Ninth Edition 4 results
- Highlighting all the new constitutional law cases in this edition in this Foreword is not possible. But suffice it to say, there are many decisions in this edition not mentioned here. The focus in discussing the cases in this edition, as in its predecessors, is on the majority opinions. Dissents and concurrences are usually mentioned only when they particularly illuminate the issues at stake or where they indicate a path to the future. Overall, the goal is to give the reader the essence of the cases. Finally, my sincere thanks to Pamela Chamberlain for her invaluable and excellent secretarial assistance.
- , the Court struck down a Massachusetts law creating buffer zones for patients arriving at abortion clinics. Even though the law was content-neutral, the law was not narrowly tailored and, therefore, was struck down because it burdened substantially more speech than was necessary to achieve the governmental interests involved. In
- showed that the Court supported the use of a rigorous undue burden standard as the measure of the abortion right. The Court ruled, 5–2, that two provisions of a Texas law targeting the state’s abortion clinics were unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.
- As in previous editions, a constant problem has been how to reconcile the tension between a desire to focus on the Supreme Court’s new cases and yet not do so at the expense of the older case law. I have tried to resolve this issue by focusing on the new without sacrificing too much of the old. This edition contains many important new decisions. Some of them as always are in the First Amendment area. Among the new First Amendment cases is
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Chapter 2. National Legislative Powers 33 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Chief Justice Rehnquist for the Court rejected a Spending Clause challenge to a federal law which withheld a small percentage of federal highway construction funds to any state which permitted the drinking of alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age. The Court set forth four criteria which federal legislation challenged under the Spending Clause are required to meet: (1) the Spending Clause appropriation must serve a general welfare purpose; (2) any condition set forth in the law must be unambiguous; (3) conditions must relate to a federal interest; and (4) the conditions must not violate any other constitutional provision. Theoretically, a condition imposed by Congress which was completely unrelated to any federal interest in the spending program involved would be illegitimate.
- Finally, Chief Justice Marshall turned to the meaning of the power “to regulate Commerce.” And once again he employed his broad vision of the constitutional grant of federal powers: “This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitation, other than are prescribed in the Constitution.” In short, the power to regulate commerce is “plenary” with respect to the objects of the power. The principal restraint on the exercise of this regulatory power is found in the wisdom and discretion of the Congress where, ironically, after a convoluted constitutional history, it remains today. It is the people exercising their power through the political process that safeguards constitutionally granted legislative powers from abuse.
- which is still being quoted and used in our courts: “Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but which consist with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.” Applying this principle, the incorporation of a national bank was clearly “a convenient, a useful, and essential instrument” in carrying on the national government’s fiscal operations. The Chief Justice did include one limitation on his broad approach to congressional power. In what has come to be known as the Pretext Principle, Marshall reasoned that if Congress enacted legislation, “for the accomplishment of objects not entrusted to the government,” it would become the duty of the courts to declare the law unconstitutional even though Congress purported to
- control.” Nor did the reserved powers of the states limit an otherwise constitutional exercise of the commerce power: “Our conclusion is unaffected by the Tenth Amendment. The Amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered.” The dual federalism doctrine set forth in
- , the Court considered whether the constitutional delegation of powers to Congress included a power to incorporate a national bank. Chief Justice Marshall conceded that there was no
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Index 12 results (showing 5 best matches)
Outline 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
West Academic Publishing’s Law School Advisory Board 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Distinguished University Professor, Frank R. Strong Chair in LawMichael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
- Professor of Law Emeritus, University of San Diego Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan
- Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Professor of Law, Pepperdine University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles
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The Constitution of the United States 39 results (showing 5 best matches)
- This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
- In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
- All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
- Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall...
- He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
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- Publication Date: December 9th, 2016
- ISBN: 9781634596237
- Subject: Constitutional Law
- Series: Nutshells
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This 9th edition of Constitutional Law in a Nutshell summarizes constitutional law from Marbury v. Madison (1803) to the present. This edition features some new and controversial cases. A new and famous example is Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) which held, per Justice Kennedy, 5-4, that under both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment “same sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States.” In Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) the Court held, 4-3, per Justice Kennedy, that the much litigated, race-conscious admissions program of the University of Texas was valid under the Equal Protection Clause. In the area of “a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion,” the Court in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016) upheld, 5-2, the use of rigorous undue burden standard as the measure of the abortion right. The Court ruled that two provisions of a Texas law targeting the state’s abortion clinics were unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. The First Amendment, as always, continues to generate new and important decisions. Thus, Reed v. Gilbert (2015) held that a town sign ordinance violated the First Amendment. The court indicated that any speech regulation directed to a specific subject matter should be evaluated under the strict scrutiny standard. The decision leaves open a question as to whether this ruling is intended to be applied to previously less protected categories of expression. This edition, of course, contains numerous other important decisions. The objective is to summarize the essence of the Court decisions and to do so in a concise and understandable way.