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Weeks 5-6: Chapter 4, Constitutional Law

by: Christine Gilbert

Weeks 5-6: Chapter 4, Constitutional Law 316

Marketplace > New Mexico State University > BLAW > 316 > Weeks 5 6 Chapter 4 Constitutional Law
Christine Gilbert

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These notes cover weeks 5-6 of Chapter 4 study, the concepts and applications of Constitutional law. Specific topics covered in these notes are Federalism and the Separation of Powers, Judicial Rev...
Legal Environment of Business
Professor Nancy Oretskin
Class Notes
american constituiton, The Constitution, constitutional law, business, business consulting, Businessmajor, Civil Procedure
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Christine Gilbert on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 316 at New Mexico State University taught by Professor Nancy Oretskin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Legal Environment of Business in BLAW at New Mexico State University.


Reviews for Weeks 5-6: Chapter 4, Constitutional Law


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Date Created: 09/26/16
Chapter 4 – Constitutional Law (Read this Chapter/review it)  Federal, but applies to State governments as well.   Major source of U.S. Law  Constitutional Powers of government: constitutions are fundamental documents that establish  how a government/entity is structured.   Delegates who has the authority to do what   A lot of countries have oral constitutions: Benefit is that it’s easier to change, but  Disadvantage is that you don’t have the specifics to rely on.   In ours, there is tension between the state and federal governments  1) Federalism and the Separation of Powers:  a. Wanted authority to be between the states themselves b. But states needed unity for strength against outside threats: central system set up  in the Constitution.  c. 10  Amendment specifically states that all authority not specifically given to the  Federal Government is automatically a State right. (If you’re trying to figure out if a law would be under State or Federal, think of its purpose: unity = Federal,  autonomy = State, etc.)  d. Federal Separation of Powers:  i. Judicial: Interprets the Laws (makes some due to precedents). (article 2)   ii. Legislative: Makes the laws (article 1) Congress  Bicameral  1. House  of representatives, Senate  iii. Executive: Enforces the Laws  President iv. Branches are supposed to be co­equal, but arguments are made for each  one being more powerful than the rest. Any one is a check on the other.   2) Judicial Review: If you’re challenging a Federal issue, it’s automatically reviewed by  Federal legislation. a. e.g. Madison vs Marbury, 1803: (sometimes the precedent goes back that far).  b. Madison (Secretary of State at the time)  c. Adams (during lame­duck presidency) appointed Marbury as judge  d. Next president held up the “Pony Express” so that Marbury didn’t get notice until  it was too late.  e. He sued.  3) State Action: in order for you to sue somebody on Constitutional grounds, the defendant  has to be a representative of the State.  a. Individuals can’t just sue individuals for a constitutional law suits. b. The defendant must be withholding a right from the “suer” as a representative of  the State.  4) Commerce Clause: (article 1, section 8)  “Congress can regulate commerce with foreign  nations and among several states and the Indian nations.” (Federal Law has more of a say than State law) a. Interstate Commerce: business between two states.  b. Intrastate Commerce: business within a state. (actually pretty hard to find  examples of pure Intrastate Commerce)  (9/13/16)  Enumerated vs implied laws in the Constitution Enumerated: specifically stated. (e.g., the Commerce Clause)  Implied: not specifically stated. (e.g., the right to an judicial review)  5) Supremacy Clause: (article 4) “Treaties of U.S. are the Supreme laws of the land:”  a. If a state and Federal law contradict, the Federal law “preempts” (overpowers) the state law, and the state law is made void.  Preemption: Federal law overpowering State laws and making them void.  E.g. of tension between State and Federal: Commerce Clause in action: marijuana regulation is  being pulled between Federal and State factions. Why is this such an issue? Can’t the Federal  government just make laws regarding marijuana commerce under the Commerce Clause?   Answer, yes, but these laws are not self­executing: the Attorney General is NOT enforcing the  Federal Statute of marijuana being a class D narcotic, and therefore State governments are  erecting their own laws.  Chapter 4 cases:  Williamson vs Mazda Motor of America:  ­ Fed said, “You have a choice in seatbelt”  ­ State said, “You must be regulated.” ­ Motor Company called for preemption  ­ State and Court of Appeals favored preemption ­ Supreme court did not favor preemption: the state law actually supported and coexisted  with the federal statute rather than contradicting it.  th 6) Eminent Domain: (5  Amendment) Gives the government (State and Federal) authority  to seize private property (in certain circumstances, i.e. for “serving the public.”) AKA the “taking clause.” a. The Government must prove that the seizure is for a public purpose, i.e. building  new roads, historical land marks. b. Must compensate at a fair market value [what a willing buyer would pay.] You  ARE entitled to fight and prove your property is worth more if you can prove it is. st Bill of Rights: (overview) 1  10 Amendments to the Constitution (To put the powers given to the Federal Government in check) 1) Freedom of Speech, press, religion, etc. “Congress shall pass no law amending…”  2) Right to bear arms.  3) National Constitution Center 4) Right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against  unreasonable search and seizure.  5) Right to remain silent, Due Process provision 6) Right to a speedy and public trial  7) Right to a jury trial (remember, not self­executing)  8) Laws again unusual crime and punishment  9) Non important  10)All rights not specifically given to the Federal Government are given to the States.  Back to the 1 : st st ­ Not protected in the 1  amendment: hate speech, inciting a riot, obscenity, etc.  Brown vs the Board of Education ­ Protection (government protection) has to relate to the issue specifically and not be too  broad.  ­ Restriction can go no further than in necessary  ­ Up until 1954, the 14  Amendment Equal Protection was interpreted one way (Separate  but equal), and during/after that case it was interpreted another way.  14  Amendment: (NOT part of the Bill of Rights or Civil Liberties)  ­ Passed after the Civil war: 70 years after the Bill of Rights ­ Includes Due Process Clause: State or Federal is prohibited from depriving of life, liberty or property without 1. Notice and 2. The opportunity to be heard. (i.e., Due Process)  ­ Equal Protection: Everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law. “Similarly treated  people must be treated the sath.”  NOTE: In order to have a 14  amendment claim, the defendant must be the government,  State or Federal: individuals can’t deprive you of those things! 


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