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Flashcards in Constitutional Law Deck (37):

What Does Prohibition on advisory Opinions mean?

The Supreme Court cannot issue advisory opinions. The Supreme Court interprets "case and controversy" requirement of article II bares rendition of advisory opinions.


What is Standing

Answers the who of litigation. It is the determination of whether a specific person is the proper party to bring a matter to the court for adjudication.


What are the Constitutional Requirements for standing?

1. Injury -- actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical, only injury that is concrete and and palpable and particularized
2. Causation -- injury must be fairly traceable to the D, causation must not be too attenuated.
3. Redressibility -- an injury is redressibile if a favorable court decision will remedy the injury.


Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife

Animal rights activists allege that they are individually injured by funding a board that increased the extinction of animals

Injury -- recognized that harm to the aesthetic beauty and recreational use of a river is the type injury.
Causation -- found that causation was attenuated because the injury harm to endangered animals was not directly caused by the secretory of the interior, but by agencies funding the projects of foreign and third parties

Redressability -- no, because they desired the secretary of state consult about the funding there is not guarantee that would stop harm


What is Prudential Standing

Congress may override these because they are not derived from the Constitution.


When may the court allow a third party standing

The Court has held that (1) P must had suffered or may presently suffer a direct impairment of his own constitutional rights. P may however assert third-party rights where he himself has suffered injury and
(2) Third party find it difficult to assert their own
rights (Singleton v Wulff)
(3) injury suffered by P adversely affects his relationship with third parties (Craig v Boren)


Singleton v Wulff

Abortion Case. P's physician who performs abortions have a standing to maintain the suit?
Yes. A physician may be allowed to assert the rights of women patients against government intereference. Two facts:
1. the closeness of relationship btw P and the third party
2. The likelihood third-party can sue on their own behalf. (Dr. Stepping in the shoes of the women)


What is a generalized grievance

P may not sue a tax payer who shares a grievance in common with all the tax payers. Individualized suits only because it Is a citizen or tax payer concerned with having the government follow the law. Not able to assert a particular concrete injury (US v Richardson)


What is Ripeness

Answer the question of when a suit takes place. Seeks to separate matters that are premature for review because the injury is speculative and may never occur. P must be harmed or there must be an immediate threat of harm.


Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner

Congress amended the Food and Drug Act and was making medical companies change their labeling on drugs. No ripe, because there were not penalized yet.
1. The fitness for review
2. the hardship to the parties if no review


What is Mootness

Are we too late to redress the injury. A live controversy must exist at all stages of review.


What is the exception to Mootness

Capable of repetition but evading review
Where the complaining party will be subjected to the same action again and would again be unable to resolve the issue because of shortness of duration. Like: pregnancy, elections)


What is voluntary cessation

Where a defendant can voluntarily cease the offending behavior but is free to return to it at any time.


What is a political question

1. The resolution is committed to a branch of the federal government other than the Supreme Court

2. Issue inherently incapable of resolution and enforcement by the judicial process

ex. impeachment trial is left only to the senate. (Nixon v. United States)


What Is the guarantee Clause

The US shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government and shall protect them against invasion.


What is the Legislative Power

Congress can act only if there is express or implied authority in the Constitution, whereas states may act unless the constitution prohibits the action.


10th Amendment

Reminds Congress that the States have power


14th Amendment

Congress shall have power to enforce by legislation the provisions of this article.


What are enumerated Powers?

Specific powers mentioned in and granted by the constitution


What is federalism

The power to govern is divided between central and localized government.


Necessary and Proper Clause

Enables congress to make all laws that may be necessary and proper to execute its other enumerated powers. This clause gives congress the power to execute specifically granted powers.


What is the Commerce Power

Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations and among several States and with the Indian Tribes.



Three Main Categories
1. Channels of Interstate Commerce: Transportation =commerce
2. Regulations of instrumentalities of interstate Commerce
3. Activities having a substantial effect on interstate commerce


What does "among the several states" mean?

Intermingled with. If something is amongst others then it is intermingled with them. "among" therefore is concerning more than one state. Commerce amongst the states cannot stop at the boundary line of each state and may be brought into the interior.


Two type of Standing

1. Constitutional
a. Injury
b. Causation
c. Redressability

2. Prudential
a. Third Party Standing
b. Generalized Grievance


What is congresses Taxing and Spending Power

Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excise to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the US; but all duties imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the US.


What is Supremacy Clause

The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. IF there is a conflict btw fed and state law the Fed law controls and the state law is invalidated because fed law is Supreme.


Which Case Explains Express Preemption?

Lorillard Tabacco v. Reilly : States outdoor point of sale conflicted with Federal labeling for tobacco laws. Both Laws were for health and safety, federal law trumps.


Deciding whether a law is discriminatory balancing test?

If a court concludes a state is discriminating against out-of-staters then there is a strong presumption against the law and it will be upheld only if it is necessary to achieve an important purpose.


What are the three questions for Equal Protection Analysis

1. What is the classification
2. What is the appropriate scrutiny
3. Does the Government Action meet the level of Scrutiny?


City of LC v Lyons

Black man was chocked by the cops and was seeking an injunction and declaratory relief . There was no standing. He could not show repetition or that the state allowed chocking as a matter of policy


What are the exceptions to mootness?

(1) Capable of repetition, yet evading review; (2) voluntary cessation


US v. Lopez

Federal law prohibited possession of a gun near a school was challenged. A federal law enacted under Commerce Clause authority must substantially effect interstate commerce.


US v. Morrison

A college student filled suit alleging sexual assault. Gender motivated crimes of violence are not economic activities. Congress cannot regulate non-economic activity based on aggregate effect on interstate commerce.


Where is the Necessary and Proper Clause found

Article I Section 8. Congress can take all acts through necessary and proper that reasonably carries out its authority. ANY MEANS that are not against its authority.


What are the ways Congress can regulate?

Channels of interstate Commerce (places where commerce occurs)
Instrumentalities (things that facilities interstate commerce)
Persons or things (All forms of intercourse -- things that go across state law)
Activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce


Third Part of the three prong test of interstate commerce?

Congress regulating economic activity?
IS there a substantial effect?