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Flashcards in Constitutional Law Deck (20)
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RAMPS: 1) Ripeness; 2) Abstention; 3) Mootness; 4) Political Question (a. Republican form of govt. clause; b. President’s conduct of foreign policy; c. challenges to impeachment/removal process; challenges to partisan gerrymandering); 5) Standing (injury + causation)



a) Senate Approval Required; b) If conflict w/ state law, treaty controls; c) If conflicts with Fed. Statute, whichever adopted last in time controls; d) If conflicts with Constitution, Constitution Controls


Executive Agreement

a) Senate Approval NOT Required; b) If conflict w/ state law, Executive Agreement controls; c) If conflicts with Fed. Statute, Federal Statute controls; d) If conflicts with Constitution, Constitution Controls; 3) Appointment/Removal Power


Congressional Power

1) No general police power; 2) Necessary & Proper Clause; 3) Tax & Spend under Commerce Clause: a) regulate channels & instrumentalities of interstate commerce, substantial effect; 4) 10th Am limitations on state – Cannot compel state regulatory/legislative action – strings on grants ok; 5) may not create new rights or expand scope of rights; 5) Bicameralism & Presentment; 6) No delegation of executive power; 7) No limits on delegation of legislative power
Congress’ Enumerated Powers:
CREATE DICE: Civil Rights; Elections; Admiralty; Taxation/Spending; Eminent Domain; Defense; Interstate Commerce; Citizenship; External (Foreign) Affairs


Supremacy Clause

Constitution/Federal Law are supreme; Fed/State law mutually exclusive; Fed Law preempts


Dormant Commerce Clause

State/local laws place undue burden on interstate commerce, unless important govt. purpose/no less discriminatory means (except: market participant)


Privileges & Immunities Article IV

State cannot deny citizens of other states priv. & immunities it accords its own citizens (discriminate against out-of-staters, related to civil liberties/ability to earn a living, no corps)


Privileges & Immunities 14th Amendment

only relevant to right to travel



Bill of Rights is applied to state and local govts. Via incorporation into the Due Process clause of 14th Amendment


Rational Basis test

law is rationally related to a legitimate govt. purpose (burden on challenger)


Intermediate scrutiny

law is substantially related to an important govt. purpose (burden on govt.) for Gender, Illegitimacy, Undocumented alien kids


Strict Scrutiny

Necessary to achieve a compelling govt. purpose (burden on govt.); Race, National Origin, Alienage, Travel, Voting


Contracts clause

Limit on state interference: state/local application only; Private Ks: intermediate scrutiny: reasonably, narrowly tailored for important public interest; Govt. Ks: strict scrutiny


Procedural Due Process

Govt. deprives a person of life, liberty, or property – Balance: interests of individual, government, & additional procedures for fact-finding



Govt. may take property for public use w/ just compensation


Fundamental Rights

1) To marry; 2) Procreate; 3) Custody of one’s child(ren); 4) keep family together; 5) control upbringing of child; 6) purchase/use contraception; 7) abortion; 8) private homo activity; 9) right to bear arms (absolute right 2nd Am); 10) Right to Travel; 11) Right to Vote (= protection right)


Equal Protection

State/Local: Apply 14th Am
Fed: Apply 5th Am.



1) Prurient interest; 2) Patently Offensive; 3) Lacks serious redeeming value (art, lt, poli, sci);


Commercial Speech

regulation must be narrowly tailored



Free Exercise; Establishment Clause: strict scrutiny for discrimination against religion

Lemon Test: SEX: 1) Secular Purpose; 2) Secular Effect; 3) Excessive Entanglement