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Flashcards in Important Case Law Take Aways & Rules Deck (25):

Marbury v. Madison 

  1. Federal judicial power that can never be expanded
  2. Judicial Review: The court may review nondiscretionary & legislative acts


Cohens v. Virginia 

federal judicial power also encompasses the power to review state court decisions involving state law that include a question of federal or constitutional law 


Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway v. Wallace 

• Declaratory Judgment’s are justiciable so long as the requirements are met 


United Public Workers v. Mitchell

hypothetical threats are not enough for ripeness


City of Los Angeles v. Lyons

Plaintiff must show injury, causation and redressability at the level of relief they seek

Relief must correspond with the injury or potential for injury in terms of an injunction


 Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife 

ESA does not create any substantive rights that private individuals enjoy, just provides a procedural mechanism to sue

Standing vs. Cause-Of-Action: Both required, but different

Cause-of-Action - Congress can create and define injuries and articulate changes of causation that will give rise to a case or controversy where none existed before

  • Unless congress makes it a cause-of-action, the court will unlikely listen to citizens suing for the improper administration of laws

Statutes may create obligations but do not give individuals the right to sue to enforce the obligations, even if an individual has been harmed

  • Injury without cause-of-action, no standing

A procedural right to sue is not enough for standing, a personal injury is required

  • Cause-of-action without injury, no standing
  •  When congress has authorized a right to sue, a standing inquiry must still be performed


McCulloch v. Maryland

Necessary and Proper Clause: Congress has the power to choose the appropriate means to accomplish its enumerated powers


Wickard v. Filburn

 Court allows the aggregation of all factors of the same economic activity to determine if there is a substantial effect on interstate commerce 


Court requires  a rational basis for concluding there is an aggregate effect


Hodel v. Indiana 

Rational Basis Review is applied to commerce clause cases


United States v. Lopez 

  1. Effect on interstate commerce must be substantial
  2. Activity must be economic and have an economic effect 


NFIB v. Sebelius 

Commerce clause powers do not apply to inactivity and compelling individuals to engage in commerce 


South Dakota v. Dole 

Taxing & Spending Power is Subject to 5 Limitations: (Deference to Congress)

1. Must be in pursuit of the general welfare
2. Must state conditions clearly and explicitly  (unambiguous)
3. Must be related to federal interests in programs / projects– Germaneness Requirement
4. Must be no other constitutional bar
5. Must comply with the 10th amendment’s anti-commandeering principle


 U.S. v. Butler

Court adopts hamilton's view of the taxing and spending power


Clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated and is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them. Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States.


City of Boerne v. Flores 

Supreme Court back pedals to the narrow view allowing only remedial measures to pass muster where there is congruence and proportionality between the means used and the ends to be achieved. (Must be corrective, remedial, or preventative, but not definitional)


 United States v. Morrison 

state action doctrine applies to regulations under § 5


Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly 

Court looks to drafting history to determine congressional intent concerning the scope of the express preemption 

Here congress had a goal of national uniformity demonstrating an intent to preempt state law



Aaron B. Cooley v. Board of Wardens of the Port of Philadelphia

“Selective Exclusiveness Test” for judicial review of state regulation of commerce

states have the power to regulate the areas of commerce which did not require uniform national regulation by Congress and that were local nature without placing an undue burden on interstate commerce.  


City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey 

Facially Discriminatory & Discriminatory Impact = Per Se Invalid Economic Protectionism


 Exxon Corp. v. Governor of Maryland 

Statutes permissibly can cause incidental burdens and favor certain classes over, just not based on residency 


Reeves, Inc. v. William Stake 

Sough What You Reap Rationale: Allow in-state citizens to have preferential access for the taxes they pay, and this preference is constitutional 


United States v. Virginia 

The territory we accept as real distinctions between the genders is shrinking


Foley v. Connelie 

Test for Self-Government Exception:

Does the position involve discretionary decision-making or execution of policy, which substantially affects members of the political community?

  • The police power is an extension of the political life of the community
  • Police authority is inherently discretionary


Clark v. Jeter

Establishes Intermediate Scrutiny for discriminations based on illegitimacy

  • Unfair to penalize children because their parents were not married
  • Burdens should be related to individual responsibility or wrongdoing
  • Immutable characteristic
  • History of Discrimination
  • Bears no relation to functioning in society
  • Not strict scrutiny because:
  • Does not bear an obvious badge
  • Never a pervasive or severe historical discrimination 


San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez 

Rational Basis Review established as the appropriate level of scrutiny

  1. Discrimination against the poor does not warrant heightened scrutiny
  2. Lack of distinguishing characteristics


 Lawrence v. Texas 

Unconstitutional to discriminate against private sexual conduct based on animus

  • Aviel believes the appropriate level of scrutiny is a more open question than the author because the laws that have been struck would fail rational basis review and the higher tiers of scrutiny did not need to be explored