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ConLaw Cases


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Marbury v. Madison
[Marbury sued for a writ of mandamus under the Judiciary Act which gave the S.Court original jdx. The constitution did not give such jdx to S.Court.]

If both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, the court must determine whether the law or the constitution should be upheld, therefore granting the court judicial review.
Cooper v. Aaron
[The state of Arkansas refused to be legally bound by the Supreme Court's decision in Brown. The Little Rock School Board had continued to implement a plan in which the segregation of students in these schools existed.]

Supreme CourtÂ’s interpretation of Constitution is binding on state legislative, executive, and judicial officers. Reitereates MvM
Baker v. Carr
[P brought suit under EPC to force state legislatures who had not repportioned since the turn of the century to do so.]

Not all cases involving “politics” present non-justiciable “political questions.” Court (Brennan, J) lists factors, at least one of which must be satisfied to constitute a political question.
Powell v. McCormack
[Powell won reelection to the HofR in 1966 but the House of Representatives voted to exclude him.]

Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting the scope of powers granted by the Constitution to coordinate branches of government. (Here SC found that HofR did not have the power to eclude Powell, just expell him).
Goldwater v. Carter
[President Jimmy Carter acted without congressional approval in ending a defense treaty with Taiwan. Congress believed it had a constitutional role to play in this decission.]

PresidentÂ’s conduct regarding treaties and foreign relations is a political question and non-justiciable.
Nixon v. US
[Nixon, a federal judge, was convicted of making false statements to a grand jury (a felony). HofR voted to impeach as did senate. P contends this was wrong as senate has sole power over impeachment.]

Issues which the Constitution specifically commits to another branch are non-justiciable. (Here senate had the power to let the HorR vote if it liked).
Martin v. Hunter's Lease
[VA State Supreme Court refused to follow S.Court's decision on the granting of land to British subject under a treaty]

The Supreme Court can review the constitutionality of a decision by a stateÂ’s highest court.
Cohens v. Virginia
[Cohen brothers were conviceted of selling D.C. lottery tickets in VA. State courts convicted Ds and declared themselves final arbiters of disputes between states and the federal govt.]

Supreme Court has the right to review state criminal cases for constitutionality.
Ex Parte McCardle
[McCardle was a civilian being held for trial by a military commission for various violations of the Reconstruction statutes. McCardle applied for habeas corpus, relying on a 1867 statute authorizing the Court with authority. Congress repealed the statute two weeks after the case was to be argued in 1868.]

Congress has the power to expand and limit the scope of the Supreme CourtÂ’s appellate jurisdiction. Two basic limits on congressional authority over CourtÂ’s jurisdiction:
• Congress cannot interfere with the essential role of the Supreme Court in the Constitutional scheme.
• Limits on jurisdiction should not violate litigants’ due process and equal protection rights.
McCulloch v. Maryland
[MD claimed that the govt. did not have the power to establish a federal bank and also MD sought to tax said bank should it be able to exist.]

Established the doctrine of implied powers.
• The Federal Government (especially Congress) may validly exercise power that is supplementary to one of the powers listed in the Constitution, so long as this power does not conflict with specific constitutional prohibitions (e.g. the Bill of Rights).
! Constitution is an outline, not a civil code.
o Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme and control the constitutions and laws of the respective states.
US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton
[AK sought to limit the number of times a representative from the HofR could serve.]

States may NOT adopt congressional qualifications in addition to those enumerated in the Constitution. 10th Amend. is not absolute. States are only granted powers they had prior to Constitution. (i.e. Since no congress before Constitution, then states had not control over congressional qualifications)
Gibbon v. Ogden
[In this case a steamboat owner who did business between New York and New Jersey challenged a law which forced him to obtain an operating permit from the State of New York to navigate on that state's waters.] Congress could legislate with respect to ALL commerce which concerns more then one state. “Commerce” = all commercial intercourse.
Hammer v. Dagenhart
[The Keating-Owen Child Labor Act prohibited the interstate shipment of goods produced by child labor. Reuben Dagenhart's father had sued on behalf of his freedom to allow his fourteen year old son to work in a textile mill.]

Maj: Employment of child-labor was not related to interstate commerce b/c the goods shipped were harmless. ? Congress has not power to regulate or police here.

Dis [Homes, J]: Because goods are shipped interstate, then congress has power to regulate; even if the regulations concern public policy and regardless of the effect they have on state activities.
• Rejects 10th Amend. As a source of limitation on fed. power. As long as action falls under a constitutionally enumerated power, then it is valid nor matter how substantially it impairs states’ ability to regulate what would otherwise be a local matter.
NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.
[The National Labor Relations Board charged D with discriminating against employees who were union members under a 1935 Act which declared labor disputes were directly related to interstate commerce. ]

Congress may regulate a manufacturer if that manufacturerÂ’s activity significantly affects interstate commerce.

NOTE: The question to ask about NLRB is: does the SPECIFIC act have to affect ISC, or just the TYPE of act?
Unites States v. Darby
[In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act to regulate many aspects of employment including minimum wages, maximum weekly hours, and child labor. Corporations which engaged in interstate commerce or produced goods which were sold in other states were punished for violating the statute.]

Federal power extends to intrastate activities directly affecting interstate commerce. (Similar to NLRB)
Wickard v. Filburn
[D grew more wheat than a Dep. of Ag. directive allowed. Though it he claimed it was for his own use, P claimed it was related to ISC.]

Established the “cumulative effect principal.”

Protection of the interstate commercial trade in wheat clearly falls within the commerce power, and the regulation of home-grown wheat is REASNABLY related to protecting that commerce.
Heart of Atlanta Hotel
[Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade racial discrimination by places of public accommodation if their operations affected commerce. The Heart of Atlanta Motel in Atlanta, Georgia, refused to accept Black Americans and was charged with violating Title II.]

1. Congress has power to regulate local commerce if such commerce effects interstate commerce

2. “… if it is interstate commerce that feels the pinch, it does not matter how local the operation that applies the squeeze.”
Katzenbach v. McClung ("Ollies BBQ")
[The owner of Ollie's Barbecue, in Birmingham Alabama, refused to serve blacks in apparent violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Part of the Act prevented restaurants serving interstate travelers, or receiving a substantial amount of their food from interstate commerce, from discriminating on the basis of race.]

Discrimination here effects ISC. Clearly demonstrates the court approval of the use of the Commerce Clause to reach what seemed to be overwhelmingly local activities. (companion to Heart of Atlanta Hotel)
US v. Lopez
[Lopez was charged and convicted under the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990 for brining a concealed weapon with him to high school. D claimed the Act was unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress's power to legislate under the CC.]

It is not enough that the activity being regulated merely “affects” interstate commerce, instead, the activity must “substantially affect” interstate commerce.
• Raises the bar expressed in Wickard.
U.S. v. Morrison
[Victim sued D under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 which provides a federal civil remedy for the victims of gender-motivated violence. D claimed Act was unconstitutional under both the CC and 14thA. SC agrees.]

It is the province of the States, not the federal govt., to regulate intrastate violence not directed at the instrumentalities, channels, or goods involved in interstate commerce.

{Essentially, the court applied the “substantial affect” test used in Lopez, however, here the court found that extensive findings that violence against women impacted the economy were too attenuated from commerce to support the legislation. Basically ignored a shit-load of evidence. –A}

Re: 14thA - Act did not redress harm caused by the state; 14thA no good here.
National League of Cities v. Usery
[In 1974, Congress passed amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The purpose of the amendments was to regulate minimum wage and overtime pay for state and local government employees. The National League of Cities, as well as several states and cities, challenged the constitutionality of the amendments.]

1. Commerce Clause did not authorize regulation of statesÂ’ fundamental employment decisions regarding state employees.

2. If CC did give govt. such power, “there would be little left of the state’s separate and independent existence.”

3. OVERRULLED in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority
[The San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (SAMTA), the main provider of transportation in the San Antonio metropolitan area, claimed it was exempt from the minimum-wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. SAMTA argued that it was providing a "traditional" governmental function, which exempted it from federal controls according to the doctrine of federalism established in National League of Cities v. Usery (1976). Joe G. Garcia, an employee of SAMTA, brought suit for overtime pay under Fair Labor Standards Act.]

State sovereign interests are protected by “procedural safeguards in the structure of the federal system,” not by “judicially created limitations on federal power.”
New York v. U.S.
[Congress attempted to regulate state control of disposal of low level radio active waste by offering incentives to states which complied with the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985, and penalizing states who did not comply. NY brought sought claiming that Cong. could not compel a state to regulate a particular private field in a particular way.]

Congress cannot require the state to enact specific legislation.

- Congress can give a state a choice between legislating as Congress wants or accepting federal preemption in an area within federal power (e.g. not receive federal funding). It cannot, however, require the state to legislate in a particular way.
Printz v. United States
[Suit questioned whether certain provisions of the Brady Bill, commanding State law enforcement to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers, violates the Constitution.]

Does violate Const.: Congress is limited in its ability to require state executive officials to administer a federal regulatory program.

Even where Congress has authority under Constitution to pass laws requiring or prohibiting certain acts, Necessary and Proper Clause does not grant Congress power directly to compel states to require or prohibit those acts. The Act violates the 10th.
Woods v. Miller Co.
[The Housing and Rent Act of 1947 was passed under the authority of the war power to regulate the rents of houses in post-WWII America. As the soldiers came back from the war, they were met with a housing shortage due to the reduction in residential construction. The reduction was caused by allocation of building materials to military projects. Was this Constitutional?]

Yes, the right to promulgate economic regulations as an adjunct to the war power is broadly construed.
Missouri v. Holland
[The U.S. and Great Britain entered into a treaty to protect migratory birds by delineating hunting seasons. The state of Missouri brought this action to prevent an U.S. game warden from enforcing the Act on the grounds that it violated the 10th amendment, arguing that Congress did not have to power to pass the Act without the treaty, and thus should not be able to pass the Act under the treaty because if the Act, standing alone, is in violation of the 10th amendment, then the treaty is as well.]

Even though a subject area might otherwise not be within congressional control, if it falls within the scope of an otherwise valid treaty, it was be valid as a “necessary and proper means” of exercising the treaty power.
Reid v. Covert
[Respondents, wives of members of the United States military, each were tried by court-martial and convicted of murder. They claimed they should be released from custody, because under the Constitution of the United States, the courts of law alone had the power to try civilians for their offenses against the United States. Respondants military trails were nullified.]

No treaty my violate any distinct constitutional prohibitions or guarantees (e.g. Bill of Rights).
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (Steel Seizure Case)
[President Truman issued an executive order directing the Secretary of Commerce to seize the steel mills and keep them running during the latter part of the Korean War. Did the president had the power under these circumstances to seize the steel mills of the country?]

No. The President may NOT make laws, only carry them out.
NOTE: JacksonÂ’s concurrence - PresidentÂ’s powers are not fixed but fluctuate depending on their disjunction or conjunction with those of congress. There are 3 categories: (1) Pres. acting pursuant to authorization of congress (broadest power, limited only by Const.); (2) Pres. is acting in face of Const. silence (narrower powers limited by the "zone of twilight" where there may be overlap with congress); (3) Pres. is acting in opposition to congress (most narrow powers, supported only by those enumerated in Const.).
Dames & Moore v. Regan
[In reaction to the seizure of the U.S. embassy and American nationals in Iran, President Jimmy Carter invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and froze Iranian assets in the United States. When the hostages were released in 1981, Treasury Secretary Donald Reagan affirmed the agreements made the Carter administration that terminated all legal proceedings against the Iranian government and created an independent Claims Tribunal. Dames & Moore attempted to recover over $3 million owed to it by the Iranian government and claimed the executive orders were beyond the scope of presidential power.]

Congress may sometimes be found to have impliedly acquiesced in the PresidentÂ’s exercise of power in a certain area. Such acquiescence may be enough to find that the President acted w/in his constitutional authority.
Ex Parte Milligan
[Lambden P. Milligan was sentenced to death by a military commission in Indiana during the Civil War; he had engaged in acts of disloyalty. Milligan sought release through habeas corpus from a federal court.]

Federal and State courts take precedence over military courts unless there exists a specific reason for them not to.
Ex Parte Quirin
[Petitioners, eight German-born U.S. residents, were captured by the United States, as they tried to enter the country during war time, for the purpose of sabotage, espionage, hostile or warlike acts, or violations under the law of war. The President of the United States held that petitioners were to be tried before a military tribunal under the Articles of War. Petitioners challenged the President's authority, arguing that under the U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, amends. V and VI, petitioners had a right to demand a jury trial at common law in the civil courts.]

By executive order, enemy combatants can be tried in military courts in a time of war.
NOTE: Distinguished from Milligan b/c Milligan was NOT an enemy combatant.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
[In the fall of 2001, Yaser Hamdi, an American citizen, was arrested by the United States military in Afghanistan. He was accused of fighting for the Taliban against the U.S., declared an "enemy combatant," and transfered to a military prison in Virginia. P argued that the govt. had violated Hamdi's 5thA right to Due Process by holding him indefinitely and not giving him access to an attorney or a trial. The govt. countered that the Executive Branch had the right, during wartime, to declare people who fight against the United States "enemy combatants" and thus restrict their access to the court system.]

1. Due process compels that a citizen held in the US as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the factual basis of his detention. D should be allowed to challange his status as an EC in court.
INS v. Chadha
[In one section of the 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 U.S. past his visa deadline and was ordered to leave the country. The House of Representatives suspended the Immigration judge's deportation ruling. Did the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed a one-House veto of executive actions, violate the separation of powers doctrine?]

1. If an action by congress amounts to lawmaking, the action is unlawful if it is not passed by a maj. of both houses and the president is given the opportunity to veto.

2. Here the legislative veto was ruled unconstitutional as it violated both the PresidentÂ’s veto power and the bicameral structure of Congress.

NOTE: LEGISLATIVE VETO - a device which enables Congress to monitor actions by the executive branch. If, after an agency takes a certain action (usually, issuance of a regulation), Congress disagrees, the veto provision in the original bill allows one or both houses to cancel that administrative action by means of a resolution. That resolution is not presented to the President, and he does not receive the opportunity to veto it.
Morrison v. Olson
[The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 created a special court and empowered the Attorney General to recommend to that court the appointment of an "independent counsel" to investigate, and, if necessary, prosecute government officials for certain violations of federal criminal laws.]

Congress may limit the President’s right to remove even a purely executive officer, so long as the removal restrictions are not “of such nature that they impede the President’s ability to perform his constitutional duty.”
US v. Nixon
[A grand jury returned indictments against seven of President Richard Nixon's closest aides in the Watergate affair. The special prosecutor appointed by Nixon and the defendants sought audio tapes of conversations recorded by Nixon in the Oval Office. Nixon asserted that he was immune from the subpoena claiming "executive privilege," which is the right to withhold information from other government branches to preserve confidential communications within the executive branch or to secure the national interest.]

1. President can be sued as a defendant.

2. PResident can not make a general claim of executive privilege with respect to conversations and papers in a criminal matter (unless a national security issue is involved)

3. Privilege was a qualified one, not absolute.
Clinton v. Jones
[Following a District Court's grant of Clinton's request that all matters relating to Jones's suit be suspended, pending a ruling on his prior request to have the suit dismissed on grounds of presidential immunity, Clinton sought to invoke his immunity to completely dismiss the Jones suit against him.]

President has absolute immunity from liability for actions relating to his Presidential duties, but not regarding claims arising out of events which preceded his tenure in office.
Barron v. The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
[John Barron was co-owner of a profitable wharf in the harbor of Baltimore. As the city developed and expanded, large amounts of sand accumulated in the harbor, depriving Barron of the deep waters which had been the key to his successful business. He sued the city to recover a portion of his financial losses on the grounds that the 5thA denies the states, as well as the national government, the right to take private property for public use without justly compensating the property's owner.]

1. Justice Marshall found that the limitations on government articulated in the Fifth Amendment were specifically intended to limit the powers of the national government.

2. Bill of Rights as a whole is binding on federal govt. and not directly on state govts.

3. Marshall argued that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction in this case since the Fifth Amendment was not applicable to the states.
Slaughterhouse Cases
[LA passsed a law giving a monopoly on New Orleans slaughterhouses to a particular company. Butchers not included in the monopoly claimed that the statute deprived them of the opportunity to practice their trade, therby violating the 13th and 14th Amend.. Most serious claim was that the statute was a denial of the privileges and immunities of LA citizenship, incuding the right to practice one's calling.]

SC interpreted the 14thA Privileges and Immunities clause to mereley forbid state infringement of the rights of NATIONAL citizenship, not the rights of STATE citizenship. P should look to LA for protection; and if there is none under LA law, then they are SOL.
Calder v. Bull
[Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Bull were denied an inheritance by a Connecticut probate court. When the Bulls attempted to appeal the decision more than a year and a half later, they found that a state law prohibited appeals not made within 18 months of the original ruling. The Bulls persuaded the Connecticut legislature to change the restriction, which enabled them to successfully appeal the case. Calder, the initial inheritor, took the case to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the new law could not be applied to the prior ruling.]

Court here (through Chase, J) examines through the lense of "natural law" (Fundamental laws stemming from social contract theory). The legislatures 18 month restriction, though constitutionally valid, was in violation of base social contract principals and therefore was invalidated.

Dissent by Iredell: legislative acts may be constitutionally valid even if violative of Natural Law.
Lochener v. New York
[Lochner was convicted under a New York law prohibiting bakery employees from working more than 10 hours per day or 60 hours per week.]

Court found the law unconstitutional and violative of the "liberty of contract" and therefore a violation of due process.

The Court insisted on reaching its own conclusions on factual issues despite legislative findings.

Lochner Test: Requires a "close fit" between statute and its objectives. Also, regulations of health and safety were acceptable legislative objectives, however, readjustment of economic power or resources was not.

Holmes's dissent: Court had no right to impose its own views about correct economic theory or legislation.

Harlen dissent: A basic public policy regarding health & safety does exists here so statute meets scrutiny.
Adkins v. Children's Hospital
[In 1918, Congress enacted a law which guaranteed a minimum wage to women and children employed in the District of Columbia. This case was decided together with Children's Hospital v. Lyons.]

Court struck down minimum wages for women and children because it was thought to interfere with the freedom of contract and no legitimate health / public safety objective was furthered by the law.

Nebbia v. New York
[To combat the effects of the Great Depression, New York adopted a Milk Control Law in 1933 which established a board empowered to set a minimum retail price for milk. Nebbia was a store owner who violated the law.]

While not specifically rejecting Lochner, the court noted that due process reuired only that the law not be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, and that the means selected have a substantial relation to the end sought.

SIGNIFICANE: While the means-end test applied here was essentially the test in Lochner, the court here was determiend NOT to impose its economic policy views on the state as Lochner did.
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish
[Elsie Parrish, an employee of the West Coast Hotel Company, received sub-minimum wage compensation for her work. Parrish brought a suit to recover the difference between the wages paid to her and the minimum wage fixed by state law.]

OVERRULED Adkis v. Children's Hospital

Court mentioned state's interest in protecting the health of women, but also gave substantial weight to the state's interest in redressing women's inferior bargaining power.

Court recognized that minimum wage law did interfere with freedom of K, but, unlike Adkins, concluded that such a readjustment in bargaining power with the goal of enabling workers to earn a living wage was a legitimate limitation on freedom of K.
US v. Carolene Products (specifically footnote 4)
[A 1923 act of Congress banned the interstate shipment of "filled milk" (milk with skimmed milk and vegetable oil added). A manufacturer, indicted for shipping filled milk, challenged the law.]

Unremarkable case except for footnote 4 in Justice Stone's opinion. Footnote 4 addressed laws that impinge upon fundamental non-economic rights, certain insular and discrete minorities, and led to 2 tier standard of review:

1. Rational basis - minimal rational relation b/twn means and end sought is required. Constitutionality of act is presumed. Burden on P.

2. Strict scrutiny – when effecting fundamental rights, state must demonstrate law is necessary to achieve compelling interest. Burden on D.
Williamson v. Lee Optical
[An Oklahoma law prohibited persons who were not licensed optometrists or ophthalmologists to fit lenses for eyeglasses. The Lee Optical Company challenged the law, bringing a suit against the state Attorney General, Mac Q. Williamson.]

Court found statute was a rational health measure because the legislature MIGHT have concluded that such fitting needed to be done by an expert.

Why this is a bad decision: Not only does one who challenges a statute have to rebut the reasons for the statute provided by the legislature, but also the reasons the legislature "might have" considered. This is judicial deference gone too far.
Buck v. Bell
[Buck, a retarded, institutionalized woman, argued that a state statute that established a process for the sterilization of mentally retarded persons in state institutions was a deprivation of substantive due process. The state argued that developmental disability is inheritable, that their reproduction is against society's interests, and if released that some of them could be productive self-supporting members of society.]

J. Holmes justified upholding the statute by claiming that "three generations of imbeciles are enough." (i.e. statute furthered a valid state interest). This statute would most likely not be upheld today given the advent of the rational basis test "with bite" regarding due process issues.

{Is it now that I sing "God Bless America?}
Griswold v. Connecticut (The Contraceptives Case)
[A CT statute made the use of contraceptives a criminal offense and also forbade the aiding or counseling of others in their use. Ds were the director and medical director of a local Planned Parenthood who counseled a married couple in the use of birth control.]

Though the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy; a fundamental right. Together, the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments, create a new constitutional right, the right to privacy in marital relations. The Connecticut statute conflicts with the exercise of this right and is therefore null and void. Goldberg looks to 9th Amend. for recognition by Framers of rights not enumerated in Cont..

Case is criticized on 2 main counts:
(1) The "zone" of privacy theory is illogical as it could be argued that when the Const. seeks to protect a right in general is specifies so. The fact the Const. explicitly protects some elements of privacy but not others demonstrates it did not mean to protect those omitted (originalist argument).

(2) Court here is "Lochnerizing." This claim, however, can be answered in that one can differential between the right to K (a public right that stems from the State) and sexual rights (private rights, not stemming from state OR legal system).
Lawrence v. Texas
[Housten Police entered the apartment of the Ds through an unlocked door while responding to a disturbance involving a weapon. The police discovered Ds, both men, having sex. Ds were charged with violating a Texas anti-sodomy statute which made same sex "deviant" sexual intercourse a crime. D's were arrested, held, tried, convicted, and fined.]

Court found that Texas violated the Ds' substantive due process rights. Right to liberty under Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the govt..

Opinion does NOT clasify homosexual's right to sex as a fundamental interest; instead opinion is based on rational basis review and strikes the statute down on the grounds that it "furthers no legitimate state interest."

O'Connor, who agrees with the holding, believed case should be brought as EP matter, not DP. Statute here only applied to same-sex sodomy.

Scalia dissent: Claims that if laws against sodomy are not legitimate, neither are laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, beastiality, and obscenity. Claims court is judiciallyt granting the homosexual community that whihc it could not achieve politically.

Significance: Although legislation of sexual conduct will continue to be gauged under the rational-relation standard, it seems the standard will be applied with "more bite" when state's justification is a sense of morality rather than preventing an objective harm.
Strauder v. West Virginia (1879)
[A West Virginia law declared that only whites may serve on juries.]

Facially discrimitary law --- Court held that on its face the law discriminatres against blacks, and therefore violates the EPC.
Korematsu v. US
[A post-Pearl Harbor military order excluding all persons of Japanese ancestry from certain areas of West Coast, and resulting in their effective imprisonment. The order was applied against citizens as well as non-citizens.]

The Court sided with the government and held that there was a compelling need to protect against espionage, and that there was no practical and sufficiently rapid way for the military to distinguish the loyal from the disloyal.

This was the last case to survive strict scrutiny.

Law was BOTH over-inclusive and under-inclusive. OI because it included Japanese who may not have been a threat, and UI because it did not include Germans or Italians who may have posed the same type of threat.

Big criticism is that the Court here defined "necessary" means of achieving objective too loosely.
Plessy v. Fergusson
[At issue was a Louisiana law calling for separate-but-equal accommodations for white and black railroad passengers.}

Court upheld the law by reasoning that such laws related only to "social" equality, not to political or civil equality. "Social" equality was not a goal of the EPC and could be attained only through voluntary action by individuals, not by statutes.

Court also reasoned that the law itself did not "stamp... the colored race with a badge of inferiority."

Harlan Dissent: Though law appears facially neutral, it was known that the law was enacted to exclude blacks from riding with whites --> interfered with personal freedom of blacks. Also added that Const. is color-blind and that the US does not operate on a caste system. (Anti-discrimination v. anti-caste theory?)
Brown v. Board of Education I
[Black children were denied admission to public schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to the races. The white and black schools approached equality in terms of buildings, curricula, qualifications, and teacher salaries.]

Intangible as well as tangible factors may be considered. Hence, the fact that the facilities and other tangible factors in the schools have been equalized is not controlling. Segregation of white and black children in public schools has a detrimental effect on the black children because the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the black children. A sense of inferiority affects children's motivation to learn. Segregation tends to deprive black children of some of the benefits they would receive in an integrated school.

Note: HarlanÂ’s dissent in Plessy sets out the anti-discrimination grounds on which Brown was decided (no law should be based on race - colorblind Const.). The argument the court used (policy denoting inferiority) can also be understood under an anti-subordination/caste reading.
Brown v. Board of Education II
[After its decision in Brown I which declared racial discrimination in public education unconstitutional, the Court convened to issue the directives which would help to implement its newly announced Constitutional principle. Given the embedded nature of racial discrimination in public schools and the diverse circumstances under which it had been practiced, the Court requested further argument on the issue of relief.]

The Court held that the problems identified in Brown I required varied local solutions. Chief Justice Warren conferred much responsibility on local school authorities and the courts which originally heard school segregation cases. They were to implement the principles which the Supreme Court embraced in its first Brown decision. Warren urged localities to act on the new principles promptly and to move toward full compliance with them "with all deliberate speed."
Loving v. Virgina
[In 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia. The Lovings returned to Virginia shortly thereafter. The couple was then charged with violating the state's antimiscegenation statute, which banned inter-racial marriages. The Lovings were found guilty and sentenced to a year in jail (the trial judge agreed to suspend the sentence if the Lovings would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years).]

The Court held that distinctions drawn according to race were generally "odious to a free people" and were subject to "the most rigid scrutiny" under the Equal Protection Clause. The mere fact that a statute "applies equally" to both races will not be enough to eastblish that there was no discriminatory intent and keep it out of strict scrutiny.
Palmore v. Sidoti
[Two white parents were divorced and custody granted to the mother. The mother then married an African American and the FL courts transferred custody to the father on the grounds that if the daughter remained with her mother and stepfather, she would become vulnerable to peer pressures and suffer from social stigmatization.]

The Court held that while ethnic prejudices did exist in society, those private biases were not permissible considerations for the removal of an infant child from the custody of its mother.

In strict scrutiny terms, the Court apparently held that the state's goal of acting on the best interests of the child was sufficiently compelling, but that bowing to private prejudices was not a necessary means of accomplishing that goal.
Yick Wo v. Hopkins
[A San Francisco ordinance bars the operation of hand laundries in wooden buildings, except with the consent of the Board of Supervisors. The Board gives permits to all but one non-Chinese applicants, but none to nearly 200 Chinese applicants.]

Although the ordinance is facially neutral, there was discrimination in its administration, and this discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause.

RULE: Discriminatory administration of a facially neutral statute will land you in strict scrutiny city!
Gomillion v. Lightfoot
[An act of the Alabama legislature re-drew the electoral district boundaries of Tuskegee, replacing what had been a region with a square shape with a twenty-eight sided figure. The effect of the new district was to exclude essentially all blacks from the city limits of Tuskegee and place them in a district where no whites lived.]

The unanimous Court held that Act 140 of the Alabama legislature violated the Fifteenth Amendment. Justice Frankfurter admitted that states are insulated from judicial review when they exercise power "wholly within the domain of state interest." However, in this case, Alabama's representatives were unable to identify "any countervailing municipal function" which the act was designed to serve. It was clear to the Court that the irregularly shaped district was drawn with only one purpose in mind, namely, to deprive blacks of political power.
Washington v. Davis
[After the applications of two blacks were rejected by the District of Columbia Police Department, the two men filed suit against Mayor Walter E. Washington. The men alleged that the Department's recruiting procedures, including a written personnel test, discriminated against racial minorities. They claimed that the test was unrelated to job performance and excluded a disproportionate number of black applicants.]

Court held that the procedures and written personnel test did not constitute racial discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. The Court found that the Clause was designed to prevent official discrimination on the basis of race; laws or other official acts that had racially disproportionate impacts did not automatically become constitutional violations. The Court reasoned that the D.C. Police Department's procedures did not have discriminatory intent and were racially neutral measures of employment qualification.

RULE: De Facto discrimination (racial disparity resulting from a facially neutral law and neutral application) is not considered a violation of the EPC.

Anti-discrimination theory would agree.
Anti-subordination theory would side with P.
Grutter v. Bollinger
[Barbara Grutter, a white resident of Michigan, applied for admission to the University of Michigan Law School. She was denied admission. The Law School admits that it uses race as a factor in making admissions decisions because it serves a "compelling interest in achieving diversity among its student body."]

Court adopted Powell's opinion in Bakke in which race could be used to further a university's interest in obtaining a diverse student body. Diversity here was considered a compelling state interest. As long as the schools plan was not a quota, and race was just a factor among many in the admittance process, then the means was acceptable in light of the other race-neutral alternatives that had been proposed but were not workable (e.g. lottery system, percentage plans).

Lastly, O'Connor cautioned that race-conscious admissions policies should be limited in time and this one should have a sunset after 25 years.

Thomas Dissent: Diversity is an aesthetic interest. Also, the there was no pressing public policy in maintaining a public law school at all, let alone an elite one. Most students did not practice in MI so there was no compelling state interest in maintaining an elite school. School could then offer admission to all minimally qualified students in a race neutral manner.
Gratz v. Bolligner
[Jennifer Gratz applied to the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science and the Arts with an adjusted GPA of 3.8 and ACT score of 25. In 1997, Patrick Hamacher applied to the University with an adjusted GPA of 3.0, and an ACT score of 28. Both were denied admission and attended other schools. The University admits that it uses race as a factor in making admissions decisions because it serves a "compelling interest in achieving diversity among its student body." In addition, the University has a policy to admit virtually all qualified applicants who are members of one of three select racial minority groups - African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans - that are considered to be "underrepresented" on the campus.]

Court found the system did NOT meet the requirements of Powell's Bakke opinion; race should be decisive, just a plus. Each applicant was to be evaluated as an individual. A mandatory 20 point increase for minorities is decisive, not just a plus.
Frontiero v. Richardson
[Sharron Frontiero, a lieutenant in the United States Air Force, sought a dependent's allowance for her husband. Federal law provided that the wives of members of the military automatically became dependents; husbands of female members of the military, however, were not accepted as dependents unless they were dependent on their wives for over one-half of their support. Frontiero's request for dependent status for her husband was turned down.]

Mere-rationality test rejected by court in cases of gender-based legislation. Court went to other extreme and applied strict scrutiny. Military policy was found unconstitutional.
Craig v. Boren
[An Oklahoma law prohibited the sale of "nonintoxicating" 3.2 percent beer to males under the age of 21 and to females under the age of 18. Curtis Craig, a male then between the ages of 18 and 21, and a licensed vendor challenged the law as discriminatory.]

Though the majority did not explicitly announce it was creating a new standard, it did articulate that gender classifications must serve and important governmental objective and must be substantially related to achievement of those objectives. Here, the statute did not pass this test.
US v. Virginia
[The United States brought suit against Virginia and Virginia Military Institute alleging that the school's male-only admissions policy was unconstitutional insofar as it violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. After an appeals court ruling, VMI proposed to create the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership (VWIL) as a parallel program for women.]

Majority took a strong tone, and while not applying strict scrutiny, they applied "skeptical scrutiny" where the state would need to demonstrate an exceedingly persuasive justification for the gender distinction. The solution should not have been to create a new woman's program, but to put the victims in the same place they would have been but for the discrimination.

Significance: Seems as though the court is advocating a new standard. Also, Court will now require that the objective being advanced is actually one that motivated the govt. when it made the legislation to begin with. This has been traditionally applied in strict scrutiny cases but not in mid-level cases.
Church of the Lakumi Bablu Aye v. Hialeah
[The Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye practiced the Afro-Caribbean-based religion of Santeria. Santeria used animal sacrifice as a form of worship. Shortly after the announcement of the establishment of a Santeria church in Hialeah, Florida, the city council adopted several ordinances addressing religious sacrifice. The ordinances prohibited possession of animals for sacrifice or slaughter, with specific exemptions for state-licensed activities.]

Unanimous court found violation of FEC. When govt. takes an action whose PURPOSE is to forbid or interfere with particular conduct because the conduct is dictated by a religious belief, the govt. action will be subject to strict scrutiny (and almost always struck down as a violation of the FEC).
Reynolds v. U.S.
[Mormon objected to the Govt. criminalization of bigamy on the grounds that it was a violation of his right to free exercise.]

Pre 1960s: Court took the view that so long as the state was acting in pursuit of non-religious ends, and was regulating conduct than pure beliefs, the FEC served as little or no barrier.

1960s: Where a law has the unintended effect of burdening religiously-related conduct, an exemption must be given where feasible.
Sherbert v. Werner
[Adeil Sherbert, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was fired from her job after she refused to work on Saturday, the Sabbath Day of her faith. The South Carolina Employment Security Commission denied her benefits, finding unacceptable her religious justification for refusing Saturday work.]

Where the state's objective could be served as well, or almost as well, by granting an exemption to those whose religious beliefs are burdened by the regulation, such an exemption must be given.

CONCERN of Minority: State must single out for financial assistance those whose behavior is religiously motivated, even though it denies such assistance to others whose identical behavior is not religiously motivated. --> Voluntary exemptions would not be unconstitutional, but compelling the state to do so may be.
Wisconsin v. Yoder
[Yoder et al were prosecuted under a Wisconsin law that required all children to attend public schools until age 16. The three parents refused to send their children to such schools after the eighth grade, arguing that high school attendance was contrary to their religious beliefs.]

Court ruled that the state must tolerate some slight sacrifice to its objective (by means of exemptions) where a religious belief would otherwise be severely burdened.
Employment Division v. Smith
[Two Native Americans who worked as counselors for a private drug rehabilitation organization, ingested peyote -- a powerful hallucinogen -- as part of their religious ceremonies as members of the Native American Church. As a result of this conduct, the rehabilitation organization fired the counselors. The counselors filed a claim for unemployment compensation. The government denied them benefits because the reason for their dismissal was considered work-related "misconduct." The counselors lost their battle in state court.]

A generally-applicable criminal law is automatically enforceable - appearantly regardless of the degree of burden it causes on an individuals religious beliefs (so long a such consequences are NOT intended by the govt.). Court seems to go even farther and suggest that all generally applicable laws, criminal or civil, will be enforceable despite burden on free exercise. The older strict scrutiny test would be abolished, though Sherbert would probably still stand because it is tailored narrowly.
Lee v. Weisman
[Daniel Weisman (P), father of student Deborah (P), sought a permanent injunction barring Providence public school officials (D) from inviting clergy to deliver invocations and benedictions at graduation ceremonies.]

Where school officials can fairly be said to be sponsoring a religious message, a prayer will be found to be in violation of the EC.
Edwards v. Aguillard
[A LA act forbade the teaching of evolution in public schools unless that teaching was accompanied by instruction in "creation science." No school was required to teach evolution or creation science, but if either was taught the other must be taught.]

If the requirement were imposed solely or primarily for religious purposes, it would violate the EC.

DISSENT: SCAL & REHN - Act fostered academic freedom (secular purpose); impossible to know the "purpose" of the legislature (subjective assessment). Therefore the 1st prong of the Lemon test should be out.
Lynch v. Donnelly
[The City of Pawtucket (D), Rhode Island included a nativity scene
in its annual Christmas display. It had done so for over 40 years. The
A.C.L.U. (P), and certain residents of Pawtucket, sued, contending the
inclusion of the scene violated the Establishment Clause. The district
court found for the A.C.L.U. (P), holding the scene conferred a
substantial benefit on religion. The court of appeals affirmed, and the
City (D) appealed.]

Court found the nativity scene did not violate EC Lemon Test:
(1) Secular purpose - celebrate the Holiday and depict the origins of that Holiday; (2) Primary effect was not to benefit religion in general (advancement of religion here would be indirect, remote and incidental); (3) no undue administrate entanglements since the display did not cause any contact with religious authorities.

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