American Constitutional Law
American Constitutional Law SPSC 315
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Fletcher Hoeger IV
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Fletcher Hoeger IV on Tuesday October 20, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SPSC 315 at Spelman College taught by Desiree Pedescleaux in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see /class/225516/spsc-315-spelman-college in Political Science at Spelman College.
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Date Created: 10/20/15
Chapter 3 Legislative Power McCulloch v Maryland Facts of the Case In 1816 Congress chartered The Second Bank of the United States In 1818 the state of Maryland passed legislation to impose taxes on the bank James W McCulloch the cashier of the Baltimore branch of the bank refused to pay the tax Question The case presented two questions Did Congress have the authority to establish the bank Did the Maryland law unconstitutionally interfere with congressional powers Conclusion In a unanimous decision the Court held that Congress had the power to incorporate the bank and that Maryland could not tax instruments of the national government employed in the execution of constitutional powers Writing for the Court Chief Justice Marshall noted that Congress possessed unenumerated powers not explicitly outlined in the Constitution Marshall also held that while the states retained the power of taxation quotthe constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme they control the constitution and laws of the respective states and cannot be controlled by themquot Decisions Decision 7 votes for McCulloch 0 votes against Legal provision US Const Art 1 Section 8 Clauses 1 and 18 South Carolina vs Katzenbach Facts of the Case The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prevented states from using a quottest or devicequot such as literacy tests to deny citizens the right to vote Federal examiners under the Attorney General39s jurisdiction were empowered to intervene to investigate election irregularities Question Did the Act violate the states39 rights to implement and control elections Conclusion The Court upheld the law Noting that the enforcement clause of the Fifteenth Amendment gave Congress quotfull remedial powersquot to prevent racial discrimination in voting the Act was a quotlegitimate responsequot to the quotinsidious and pervasive evilquot which had denied blacks the right to vote since the Fifteenth Amendment39s adoption in 1870 Decisions Decision 8 votes for Katzenbach 1 votes against Legal provision Voting Rights Act of 1965 City of Boerne v Flores Facts of the Case The Archbishop of San Antonio sued local zoning authorities for violating his rights under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act RFRA by denying him a permit to expand his church in Boerne Texas Boerne39s zoning authorities argued that the Archbishop39s church was located in a historic preservation district governed by an ordinance forbidding new construction and that the RFRA was unconstitutional insofar as it sought to override this local preservation ordinance On appeal from the Fi h Circuit39s reversal ofa District Court39s nding against Archbishop Flores the Court granted Boerne39s request for certiorari Question Did Congress exceed its Fourteenth Amendment enforcement powers by enacting the RFRA which in part subjected local ordinances to federal regulation Conclusion Yes Under the RFRA the government is proh bited from quotsubstantially burdeningquot religion39s free exercise unless it must do so to further a compelling government interest and even then it may only impose the least restrictive burden The Court held that while Congress may enact such legislation as the RFRA in an attempt to prevent the abuse of religious freedoms it may not determine the manner in which states enforce the substance of its legislative restrictions This the Court added is precisely what the RFRA does by overly restricting the states39 freedom to enforce its spirit in a manner which they deem most appropriate With respect to this case speci cally there was no evidence to suggest that Boerne39s historic preservation ordinance favored one religion over another or that it was based on animus or hostility for free religious exercise Decisions Decision 6 votes for City of Boerne 2 votes against Legal provision Fourteenth Amendment Enforcement Clause Missouri v Holland Facts of the Case In December 1916 the United States and Great Britain entered into a treaty to protect a number of migratory birds in the US and Canada Congress passed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918 in order to facilitate enforcement of the treaty When Ray P Holland the US Game Warden threatened to arrest citizens of Missouri for violating the Act the state of Missouri challenged the treaty Question Did the treaty infringe upon rights reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment Conclusion No In a 7to2 decision the Court held that the national interest in protecting the wildlife could be protected only by national action The Court noted that the birds the government sought to protect had no permanent habitats within individual states and argued that quotbut for the treaty and the statute there soon might be no birds for any powers to deal withquot The Court thus upheld the exercise of the treaty power and thus found no violation of the Tenth Amendment Decisions Decision 7 votes for Holland 2 votes against Legal provision Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 us Const Amend 10 JW Hampton Jr amp Co v United States Facts of the Case The Tariff Act of 1922 delegated the authority to set and impose customs duties on articles ofimported merchandise When under a proclamation ofthe President JW Hampton amp Company was assessed a higher customs duty than was xed by statute the company sought reliefin the courts Question Did the Tariff Act39s delegation of commerce power to the Executive Branch violate the Separation of Powers principle Conclusion In a unanimous decision the Court held that Congress within quotdefined limitsquot could vest discretion in Executive officers to make public regulations and direct the details of statutory execution The Court argued that the same principle that allowed Congress to x rates in interstate commerce also enabled it to remit to a ratemaking body under the control of the Executive branch Immigration amp Naturalization Service INS v Chadha Facts of the Case In one section ofthe Immigration and Nationality Act Congress authorized either House of Congress to invalidate and suspend deportation rulings of the United States Attorney General Chadha had stayed in the US past his visa deadline Though Chadha conceded that he was deportable an immigration judge suspended his deportation The House of Representatives voted without debate or recorded vote to deport Chadha This case was decided together with United States House of Representatives v Chadha and United States Senate v Chadha Question Did the Immigration and Nationality Act which allowed a oneHouse veto of executive actions violate the separation of powers doctrine Conclusion The Court held that the particular section of the Act in question did violate the Constitution Recounting the debates of the Constitutional Convention over issues of bicameralism and separation of powers Chief Justice Burger concluded that even though the Act would have enhanced governmental ef ciency it violated the quotexplicit constitutional standardsquot regarding Iawmaking and congressional authority Decisions Decision 7 votes for Chadha 2 votes against Legal provision Immigration and Naturalization Immigration Nationality or Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Acts as amended Clinton v City of New York p141 Facts of the Case This case consolidates two separate challenges to the constitutionality of two cancellations made by President William J Clinton underthe Line Item Veto Act quotActquot In the rst the City of New York two hospital associations a hospital and two health care unions challenged the President39s cancellation of a provision in the Balanced Budget Act of1997 which relinquished the Federal Government39s ability to recoup nearly 26 billion in taxes levied against Medicaid providers by the State of New York In the second the Snake River farmer39s cooperative and one of its individual members challenged the President39s cancellation ofa provision of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 The provision permitted some food re ners and processors to defer recognition of their capital gains in exchange for selling their stock to eligible farmers39 cooperatives A er a district court held the Act unconstitutional the Supreme Court granted certiorari on expedited appeal Question Did the President39s ability to selectively cancel individual portions of bills underthe Line Item Veto Act violate the Presentment Clause of Article I Conclusion Yes In a 6to 3 decision the Court rst established that both the City of New York and its af liates and the farmers39 cooperative suffered suf ciently immediate and concrete injuries to sustain their standing to challenge the President39s actions The Court then explained that underthe Presentment Clause legislation that passes both Houses of Congress must either be entirely approved ie signed or rejected ie vetoed by the President The Court held that by canceling only selected portions ofthe bills at issue under authority granted him bythe Act the President in effect quotamendedquot the laws before him Such discretion the Court concluded violated the quot ner wroughtquot legislative procedures of Article I as envisioned by the Framers Decisions Decision 6 votes for City of New York 3 votes against Legal provision Article 1 Section 7 Paragraph 2 Separation of Powers United States v North p 160
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