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happened because it was discovered that Nixon had been recording conversations in the Oval Office and would only submit redacted versions. He argued that he had executive privileges and the request for the tapes violated separation of powers because the courts didn't have the right to intervene in an inter-branch dispute. The US argues that the tapes have to do with concerns of the country, so executive privilege may not be allowed and the court has the right to hear criminal and civil cases, and this is a criminal case. The question is: is this a non-justiciable question. The supreme Court says it is and that executive privilege is valid, but that it isn't a violation of separation of powers because of checks and balances/ Executive privilege isn't absolute and the rule of law trumps all of this - if there was criminal activity, executive privilege is trumped, so he must turn the tapes over.

US vs Nixon


a civil lawsuit; Paula Jones asked for $175,00 for a sexual harassment claim; The suit was filed before Clinton took office, but he said executive privilege should let it wait until he was out of office because it would take him away from his duties - it would make him unduly cautious in the discharge of his official duties if he is having to worry about civil lawsuits all the time. The question was: does the president get immunity from civil litigation? The court unanimously decides no. Only under highly unusual circumstances (a hurt soldier sues him) can he get out of it, but if it is connected to unofficial business, he has to deal with it. Thus, he was not immune.

Clinton V. Jones


An arms dealer was selling ammunitions to the Chaco region, which FDR had created an embargo against. The arms dealer said they had the right to sell because they are a private industry and the US hadn't declared war, so the executive order was unconstitutional because there was an unconstitutional delegation of powers by Congress to the president. The US argued it was a part of the president's inherent powers to keep the country safe and the president has extra powers when it comes to foreign powers (external sovereignty). The US wins and the arms company has to pay a fee and stop shipping. The US has sovereignty to exist no matter who is in power and what constitution it has. This case created the sole organ theory of presidential power - the president is the sole organ when it comes to foreign affairs.

US V. Curtis Wright


The US is involved in the Korean conflict but won't call it war, but a police action. Unions are striking over wages, and Truman is pro-union. However, the Taft-Hartley Act restricted how unions could strike, and part of the law limited how the feds could seize private land to prevent a strike. Truman takes the steel mills to get the union leaders to come to an agreement and resume making steel through an executive order and the steel mill sues. Truman argues that its a time of war/peril, so he can use commander in chief and chief executive powers for an executive order. The mill argues that since no war has been declared, he can't issue an executive order and the constitution doesn't let the president take private property, and this was a domestic issue, not foreign policy, and thus up to Congress, not Truman. As a result, the courts create a test for executive orders: if congress gives the president power to act, he is probably fine. If he doesn't have permission, but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain. Therefore, congressional inertia, indifference, or quiescence may sometimes, at least, as a practical matter, enable, if not invite, measures on independent authority. If the president is told not to act by congress and he does it anyway, then the court may have to step in.

Youngstown Sheet and Tube V. Sawyer


An East Indian born in Kenya came to the US but overstayed his British visa, but the AG cancel his deportation due to his extreme hardship. The House votes to override the AG. The question is: is the legislative veto constitutional? Burger says that the legislative veto is to stop the president and makes it efficient bc it would take both chambers to override a presidential rule, but with a legislative veto, just the house has to approve the veto. However, that isn't constitutional bc it says both chambers have to approve of something. So it is unconstitutional because it violates the constitution, bicameralism, and the presentment clause (things have to go before the president. So the man stays in the US. The house alone initiates impeachment, the senate tries impeachment, negotiates treaties, and approves presidential appointments.

INS v. Chadha


tested the non delegation doctrine; NIRA gave the president the ability to create executive orders dealing with unfair business practices - section 3 let the president create codes for industries. FDR created codes for the poultry industry, including that you could sell sick chickens. A poultry company would't follow the regulations and go convicted. The questions before the court were: Did the NIRA violate the non-delegation clause of the constitution? Was the NIRA constitutional under the commerce clause? The feds argued the delegation to the president was under intelligible principles of delegation - which means whatever the court says it means, very vague. If these principles were followed, then powers can be delegated. The court ruled it wasn't intelligible principles because it was too broad and gave the president too much power. They also decided the NIRA violated the commerce clause because it didn't have substantial effect on interstate commerce.

Schechter Poultry V. US


said “the powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government are few and defined. The powers reserved to the states are are numerous and indefinite.” but today the government doesn't really look like this and it started with McCulloch v. Maryland and because of Gibbons v. Ogden, US v. EC Knight Company, Hammer v. Dagenhart, NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, US v. Darby, Wickard v. Filburn, US v. Lopez, and NFIB V. Sebelius

Federalist 45


Maryland wrote a law that said any bank not chartered in MD (meaning the Bank of the United States) had to pay a tax on all their proceedings. However, the bank won't pay so maryland sues. The question: Does congress have the right to incorporate a bank? The courts say yes, the people agreed to the constitution, and you can't put every little possible detail, because it isn't legal code, just political theory, so congress has this power in the necessary and proper clause. And MD can't tax because to tax is to destroy and the federal government is sovereign.

McCulloch v. Maryland


Ogden goes into the steamboat business and gets a contract from NY and NJ, but Gibbons gets a contract from the feds to navigate the waterways. NY and NJ say it's their business and it is intrastate commerce, and Gibbons says its interstate commerce. The court sides with the feds and say they have power over navigation and commerce. This gives the Congress/Feds more power because the court says commerce includes all commercial intercourse (vague) between the US and other nations and among the states.

Gibbons V. Ogden


involves a sugar factory and whether the Sherman Anti-Trust act can regulate a sugar factory; the Sherman Anti-Trust Act helped the feds regulate trade and prevent monopolies to the point where they can attempt to regulate prices. The American Sugar Company said the feds can’t use the commerce clause to regulate manufacturing and production because that is a state power. Therefore, a portion of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was declared unconstitutional because production and manufacturing are not part of the commerce clause.

US v. E. C. Knight Company


The Federal Child Labor Act said you can use kids to manufacture your goods but you can't ship those goods, because once those goods are packed up and shipped among states, that makes it interstate commerce. The question is: Can the federal government regulate child labor? Is it part of their power under the commerce clause? Congress argues that using kids creates unfair competition bc you don't have to pay kids so those goods are cheaper than companies who pay adults, and Congress can regulate unfair competition. The Court says Congress is just using transportation as a ruse to control manufacturing and production, which is unconstitutional. They are also trying to regulate general health and welfare, which is a policing power - which they don't have - so it is a state power. In the dissent, Holmes says congress should get to decide what is and isn't interstate commerce, and thus can regulate it. Dagenhart wins.

Hammer V. Dagenhart


begins to unravel dual federalism; the NLR board charges Jones and Laughlin for discriminating against union employees, but they argued that congress was trying to control manufacturing and production, but the US argues they are trying to control unfair labor standards. The court sides with the US and says the act was constructed to regulate industrial activities - unfair labor standards affect interstate commerce, therefore congress can regulate it and the National Labor Relations Act was declared unconstitutional and the feds get more power.

National Labor Relations Board V. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation


deals with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which regulates the work week, child labor, and makes a minimum wage and if you violate those, you can't ship your goods. This case says Congress can decide what policies are necessary for fair labor standards and to protect the health and welfare of the citizens, expanding congress's power. As long as it involves interstate commerce, Congress can regulate it, including production and manufacturing. Congress's power is plenary (supreme) and this case overthrew Hammer V. Dagenhart.

US V. Darby


a farmer argues that the regulation of the consumption of wheat is beyond the reach of the commerce clause because it was an action that was local in character and at most the effects of producing additional wheat was indirect interstate commerce. The question: Does Congress have broad power under the commerce clause to regulate local production such as growing wheat? Justice Jackson says the court shouldn't take into consideration formulas that give controlling force to issues such as production and indirect commerce, the court should review if the activity in question has an effect on interstate commerce, not whether it is a direct or indirect effect, just if it a substantial effect. The court decides that though this one case is trivial, on a large scale it would affect commerce, so Congress can regulate it, giving them more power.

Wickard V. Filburn


giving power back to the states; also known as new federalism



The Gun Free Schools Act says individual can't bring guns around schools. A 12th grader brings a gun to school with no bad intentions but is charged. He argues that if the intention to bring the gun to school isn't for selling, then regulating guns is a state right, not a federal right. The feds argue that bringing guns around schools does affect commerce, because it can discourage economic growth in that area if it becomes dangerous. The question: Does bringing a gun to school substantially affect interstate commerce? The court says the argument that guns around schools could eventually affect commerce is too broad - you could connect anything to commerce that way, so Congress loses and they can't create their own police power, setting a tone for how the courts will act in similar cases to limit congressional power

US V. Lopez


The Feds say that if states expand Medicaid, then they get extra funding, but if they don't expand, they lose all of their Medicaid funding. The feds they can do this under the spending clause, which allows them to regulate activities in areas that they don't have power. The Courts say there are some limits to that, though. Congress can't have undue influence on states and pressure them to act, which turns into compulsion and runs contrary to federalism. It would remove credibility because if it messes up, who is held accountable? The court said states had to have a legitimate choice to expand or not and the feds can't use money as a weapon of coercion. The Court did say, however, that you can be mandated to get healthcare, but not under the commerce clause because it has never been allowed to be used for inactivity. They can just tax you for not being insured.

NFIB V. Sebelius


A woman sues for the right to vote in Missouri. She uses the 14th amendment, which says all people born or naturalized in the US are citizens. As such, all privileges should be applied to her. The court says that since she doesn't have the national right to vote nor the right in Missouri, the 14th amendment only applies to having rights from your state taken away, and since she doesn't have the right, she isn't being denied a right. This case emphasized the power of the state to decide who can vote - Congress can only decide the time, place, and method of congressional elections.

Minor V. Happersett


the Supreme Court said literacy tests were ok in because they were making everyone take them; after this case, judges on the court change, along with the public's idea on the right to vote

Lassiter V. North Hampton County Board of Elections


act that gets rid of literacy tests and discrimination during the election process and it allowed the feds to come into the states to monitor elections; Section 4 said if less that 50% in your state were registered to vote and you had a history of discrimination, than you fell under Section 5, which said if you meet section 4, then you become a covered jurisdiction and you had to get preclearance to make election changes by going through the feds (DOJ); in 1975, changes were made to include not just race, but ethnicity (for hispanics) and added multi-ligual ballots; section 3 says you can sue if you think your voting rights are being violated and the feds will pay for it

the Voting Rights Act (1965 and 1975)


a state argued that the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional under the 10th amendment; the court said that congress can do any rational means to implement the 15th amendment, which was the point of the VRA, so the feds case was based on the 15th amendment

South Carolina V. Katzenbach


a county in Alabama argues that they had years of nondiscriminatory voting and there are now more African-Americans registered to vote, so they shouldn't fall under section 4 and 5 so they shouldn't have to get preclearance. The feds argue that voter discrimination still exists and states can request to opt out by going to the feds and refers to SC v Katzenbach. The court decides that section 4's formula is outdated and therefore unconstitutional and not equally applied, causing some states to be treated unequally. They said congress can update the law. So section 5 is still allowed, just not section 4. After this, many states pass voter id laws.

Shelby County V. Holder


Texas democrats had only white primaries, but then allowed color in the general election. They said they could do that because parties are private and not a governmental institution. Lonny Smith sues Texas, with Thurgood Marshall as his attorney. The court rules that party primaries aren't private because judges sometimes have to make decisions in primaries and 2/3 of the funding for them comes from the state, so it is public and that violates the 15th amendment.

Smith V. Allright


Virginia required a $1.75 poll tax and Annie Harper sues. The supreme court decides wealth cannot be a determinant to vote because it was a violation of the 14th amendment because it isn't equal

Harper V. Virginia Board of Elections


Which of the following statements is most accurate?

The winning presidential candidate does need to win a majority (50% +1) of the Electoral College.


Which of the following theories of presidential power is emblematic (representative) of the following quote, “to do anything that the needs of the nation [demand] unless such action [is]
forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws.”

Stewardship theory


All of the following are true of presidential elections EXCEPT

The people vote directly for the president.


All of the following are true of impeachment EXCEPT

Only two sitting presidents (William Clinton and Richard Nixon) have actually been impeached, and neither was convicted and removed from office.


Which of the following theories of presidential power is emblematic (representative) of the following quote, “the power to act according to discretion for the public good, without the prescription of the law and sometimes even against it.”

Prerogative theory


All of the following are true of presidential veto power EXCEPT

Presidential vetoes are overridden with a simple majority vote in both houses