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Constitutional Study Guide. Becca Thomas, Kara Barcza, Sophia Chen, and Jaclyn Koger Period 3. Amendments Omitted. #11- Supreme Court jurisdiction #12- Vote separately for President and Vice-President #18- Prohibition #20- Start of Terms and Succession to Presidency.

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constitutional study guide

Constitutional Study Guide

Becca Thomas, Kara Barcza, Sophia Chen, and Jaclyn Koger

Period 3

amendments omitted
Amendments Omitted
  • #11- Supreme Court jurisdiction
  • #12- Vote separately for President and Vice-President
  • #18- Prohibition
  • #20- Start of Terms and Succession to Presidency
  • #21- Repeal Prohibition
  • #22- 2 terms maximum for a President
  • #23- Electors for D.C.
  • #27- Congressional Salaries
first amendment freedom of religion speech press petition and assembly
First AmendmentFreedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly

no law can be created that establishes a national religion

no law can be created that prohibits religion

no law can be created that restricts freedom of speech or freedom of press

people are allowed to peacefully assemble and petition

1 st amendment important cases
1st Amendment- Important Cases

Shank v. United States

  • Shank made leaflets telling men to resist the draft
  • he was found guilty and the Supreme Court upheld this
  • Supreme Court decided that it was not violating the First Amendment because it was risking security of the country
  • this limits rights by not allowing freedom of press during war time since it was harmful to the army

Near v. Minnesota

  • public nuisance law ruled unconstitutional because yellow journalism didn’t pose a threat to the nation

Engel v. Vitale

  • Prayer/Bible reading in public schools, and ten families argued that it was against their beliefs
  • Ny courts said it was constitutional, but the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional

New York Times v. Sullivan

  • Sullivan was a Montgomery City Commissioner in Alabama
  • The ad run by the NYTimes said the arrest of MLKJ was attempt to destroy his civil rights movement
  • Sullivan won $500,000 in Alabama State Court because he claimed the ad damaged him personally
  • Supreme Court ruled against this saying that states can’t award to a public official unless they can prove “actual malice”
1 st amendment important cases continued
1st Amendment- Important Cases (continued)

Tinker v. Des Moines School District

  • they weren’t allowing kids to wear black armbands to protest the war (Vietnam War I think!)
  • they expelled kids for wearing them
  • district court ruled with the school, however, the Supreme Court ruled against the school saying that a peaceful protest and no harm was being done

Lemon v. Kurtzman

  • taxpayer money was going to help support religious schools (private, etc.) and people didn’t want their money going to schools that they did not believe in religiously
  • Supreme Court came up with a three part Lemon Test and this particular situation violated the third part of it (no tangling government and religion)

New York Times Co. v. United States

  • NYTimes and Washington Post got ahold of Pentagon Papers that show Johnson lied about the war in Vietnam
  • Decision was that it wasn’t a big enough threat to national security to limit their freedom of press (this upholds the prior restraints made in Near v. Minnesota)

Wisconsin v. Yoder

  • three Amish families sued Wisconsin for requiring their children to stay in school until they were sixteen years old
  • families were convicted for violating the law
  • Supreme Court ruled the conviction unconstitutional since it was part of their religion
1 st amendment important cases continued1
1st Amendment- Important Cases (continued)

Miller v. California

  • Miller was sending porn ads and some families got them and were unhappy
  • the state wanted to restrict what he sent
  • Supreme Court ruled that his ads were not protected by the First Amendment
  • They also decided that the state would be allowed to place restrictions porn and what was sent if the material fell under certain guidelines

Buckley v. Valeo

  • Federal Election Campaign Act limited contributions made to candidates and expenditures by candidates
  • Many people (mostly candidates) didn’t like this
  • Supreme Court ruling limited campaign contributions but not expenditures

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeir

  • the school omitted articles written about divorce
  • students wanted the articles in there even though some parts of them were considered very inappropriate
  • Supreme Court ruled against the students because it was a concern for the school’s well being

Texas v. Johnson

  • Johnson had burned an American Flag
  • Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects him because he didn’t cause a breach of the peace
second amendment right to bear arms
Second AmendmentRight to Bear Arms

Citizens have the right to bear arms

2 nd amendment important cases
2nd Amendment- Important Cases

United States v Lopez (1995)

  • Alfonzo Lopez carried a concealed weapon into his high school.
  • Was then charged under Texas law with firearm possession on school premises.
  • The next day, the state charges were dropped and the federal government charged Lopez with violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.
  • Lopez was found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison and 2 years of supervised release.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that any laws prohibiting guns at school is for safety and not to limit economic activity ( Lopez had planned to exchange the gun for money)
third amendment quartering of soldiers
Third AmendmentQuartering of Soldiers

Soldiers can’t be quartered in houses without the owner’s consent both in times of peace and of war

3 rd amendment important cases
3rd Amendment- Important Cases

Engblom v. Carey

  • Engblom was a prison security guard (in NY) and her house was owned by the prison as part of her pay
  • The guards went on strike and National Guardsmen were called to guard the prison
  • Engblom and others were evicted from their homes to house the National Guardsmen
  • Supreme Court ruled that tenants along with owners are protected under the Third Amendment
fourth amendment searches and seizures
Fourth AmendmentSearches and Seizures

Need warrant to inspect home/business, etc and/or take items

Warrant can only be issued based “upon probable cause”

Prevents the government from just searching or seizing on whim or on if they disagree with the charged

Exclusionary Rule= evidence no matter how strong can’t be used if it was obtained illegally

4 th amendment important cases
4th Amendment- Important Cases

Mapp v. Ohio

  • Police were alerted of possible bomb in home of DollreeMapp, they searched house without warrant and arrested Mapp after she kept requesting for a warrant
  • Found no bomb but pornographic material and convicted her for these items
  • Supreme Court ruled that Mapp wasn’t guaranteed her basic rights; the police needed a warrant and all evidence found and held against Mapp was illegal and could be used
  • Mapp was freed from all charges

Hudson v. Michigan

  • Police searched Booker T. Hudson’s home with a warrant though without “knocking on the door”
  • Supreme Court ruled that the evidence found (cocaine) could be still held against him even if the police violated the “knock-and-announce” rule

Katz v. United States

  • Charles Katz made gambling wagers on a public payphone which the FBI had set up with hidden recorders
  • He was arrested based off these recordings
  • Supreme Court sided with Katz, saying he had a right to privacy; extended fourth amendment

Zurcher v. Stanford Daily

  • Newspapers and corporations can also be subjected to search and seizure– though with a warrant
fifth amendment rights of accused
Fifth AmendmentRights of Accused

Can’t be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process

Private property can’t be taken without compensation

Can’t be charged with a crime unless a Grand Jury indicts you (exception is if you are in the military in war time or time of danger)

Can’t be forced to testify against yourself or say anything that could be used against you (“pleading the fifth”)

Can’t be tried twice for the same offence (if found not guilty, you can admit to it after and nothing can be done)

5 th amendment important cases
5th Amendment- Important Cases

Miranda v. Arizona

  • Ernesto Miranda arrested for kidnapping and assault
  • he signed a written confession and was convicted to a 20 year sentence
  • Supreme Court overruled and created the Miranda Rights
sixth amendment right to fair speedy trial
Sixth AmendmentRight to fair, speedy trial

Ensures every accused person of a right to a fair and speedy trial

Will not be punished or put in jail, until case is made

Must be a ‘fair’ trial that’s open to the public

Have a fair jury and witnesses hearing both sides to decide the accused

Legal counsel (attorney/lawyer) must be provided to the accused.

6 th amendment important cases
6th Amendment- Important Cases

Gideon v. Wainwright  (1963)

  • Gideon charged with in state court with breaking and entering
  • Doesn’t have the money to hire lawyer, so he asks court for one and is refused
  • Gideon defends himself w/out a lawyer in trail and is convicted by jury as guilty
  • Gideon’s right to fair and speedy trial is violated
  • Court ruled that 6th amendment is a fundamental right, fair trial is essential, through due process clause of 14th, and states are bound to the 6th amendment
  • Gideon has right to be represented by a court-appointed attorney
seventh amendment right to trial by jury in common law cases
Seventh AmendmentRight to Trial by Jury in Common-Law Cases

If common-law cases exceed $20, your right to trial by jury is preserved,

Also, you will not be tried again nor shall facts be re-examined in any U.S. Court, according to rules of common law.

eighth amendment cruel and unusual punishment
Eighth AmendmentCruel and Unusual Punishment

No one should be subjected to cruel and unusual punishments.

Basically guaranteeing that you won’t be tortured

8 th amendment important cases
8th Amendment- Important Cases

Furman v. Georgia (1972) & Gregg v. Georgia (1976)

  • Furman was sentenced to death after accidentally shooting and killing a man while illegally breaking into a house
  • Gregg received the death penalty for armed robbery and murder
  • Furman - The death penalty was invalidated because existing death penalty legislation was not clear enough in defining what circumstances constitute a death sentence.
  • Gregg - The death penalty is not necessarily unconstitutional if the laws in place guarantee the penalty is only imposed due to the facts and circumstances of the crime. The sentencing in Georgia was upheld because these requirements were met.
ninth amendment rights retained by the people
Ninth AmendmentRights Retained by the People

People have rights other than the ones stated in the Constitution

Meant to stop the federal government from taking rights away from the people and that people have rights other than the Bill of Rights

9 th amendment important cases
9th Amendment- Important Cases

U.S. Public Workers v. Mitchell (1947)

  • Unions represented many federal employees
  • Fearful that many unions were leftist and planning to overthrow the government, Congress passed the Hatch Act which made it illegal to hire anyone who advocated overthrowing the govt.
  • Unions sued declaring the act unconstitutional
  • The Supreme Court found the Hatch Act (amended in 1940) did not violate the ninth amendment

Barron v. Balitmore (1833)

  • Supreme Court ruled that the ninth amendment is applicable only to the federal government not the state governments

Gibson v. Matthews (1991)

  • Supreme Court stated that the ninth amendment was created as a protection of fundamental rights that are not specifically stated in the Constitution
tenth amendment rights reserved to the states
Tenth AmendmentRights Reserved to the States

Powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by the Constitution are for the states and/or people

10 th amendment important cases
10th Amendment- Important Cases

United States v. Bond (2011)

  • Mrs. Bond’s husband cheated on her and impregnated his mistress (her friend)
  • Mrs. Bond, in anger, stole mail and poisoned the car of the mistress and was arrested for violation of the Chemicals Weapon Convention
  • She claimed the Chemicals Weapon Convention violated her rights from the tenth amendment
  • The Supreme Court sided with Bond saying the federal statue intruded on the states police power that is reserved to them
thirteenth amendment abolish slavery
Thirteenth AmendmentAbolish Slavery

No slavery nor involuntary servitude except for punishment for crime

Congress has power to enforce this legislation.

Stopped slavery but did not stop discrimination. Blacks were usually left with slave jobs anyways.

13 th amendment important cases
13th Amendment- Important Cases

Bailey v. Alabama (1911)

  • Bailey, an African American, in Alabama began work and then quit after a month
  • Alabama found him guilty of refusing to work and not refunding his wages
  • The Supreme Court found that Bailey was not a criminal for not working and being liable for such would be similar to indentured servitude, which was outlawed in the Thirteenth Amendment

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964)

  • The Heart of Atlanta Motel didn’t service to African Americans.
  • The motel owner claims this act as unconstitutional as a violation of the 13th Amendment, because by forcing him to make his motel available to African Americans, he is being subjected to involuntary servitude.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that it was “frivolous” to try to use the Thirteenth Amendment which was made to free slaves from bondage.
fourteenth amendment citizenship rights
Fourteenth AmendmentCitizenship Rights

Guarantees rights for all people

Due process Clause- prevents state/local governments from taking people’s rights without a fair process

Equal protection Clause- equal protection under the law to all people within its reach

Citizenship Clause- broad definition of citizenship

Incorporation Doctrine

14 th amendment important cases
14th Amendment- Important Cases

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

  • On the issue of segregated schools
  • Supreme Court overruled the “separate but equal” clause and stated that it was unconstitutional to segregate public schools
  • “separate but equal” didn’t comply with 14th amendment

Gitlow v. New York (1925)

  • Benjamin Gitlow, a communist, published papers supporting “left wing manifesto”
  • Was arresting for advocating the overthrow of the government
  • The Supreme Court using the due process clause of 14th amendment claimed that Bill of Rights applies to states
  • Gitlow had a right to freedom of speech but New York was right to prosecute him as he presented a potential danger and harm to other

Mapp v. Ohio (1961)

  • Police were alerted of possible bomb in home of DollreeMapp, they searched house without warrant and arrested Mapp after she kept requesting for a warrant
  • Found no bomb but pornographic material and convicted her for these items
  • Supreme Court ruled that the right of privacy stated in the 14th amendment is guaranteed in states as well
  • Mapp was freed from all charges
14 th amendment important cases continued
14th Amendment- Important Cases (continued)

Baker v. Carr (1962)

  • Charles Baker and others felt the state (Tennessee) wasn’t guaranteeing them their full rights as it failed to reapportion districts based on population growth
  • Felt they were denied fair and equal representation as provided under the 14th amendment
  • Supreme Court sided with Baker and decided that legislative apportionment can be a constitutional challenge and that they can make the decisions

Furman v. Georgia and Gregg v. Georgia (1972 and 1976 respectively)

  • Furman and Gregg were each sentenced to death for crimes (robbery and murder)
  • They both claimed that the death penalty was cruel punishment and that it violated their rights
  • The Supreme Court ruled that it depended on the “due process clause”; Furman was left off as there was no sufficient definition of what constituted the death penalty; Gregg was still given the penalty as he clearly met the requirements of due process

Miller v. California (1973)

  • Marvin Miller was accused and arrested for sending pornographic materials through the mail
  • He claimed he had the right to through the first amendment and that he was protected by the fourteenth amendment
  • the Supreme Court ruled that Miller was not protected by the first amendment but that the states would be limited in regulating obscene mail based on a three part test
14 th amendment important cases continued1
14th Amendment- Important Cases (continued)

Roe v. Wade (1973)

  • “Jane Roe” argued that the anti-abortion laws in Texas were unconstitutional as they violated her right of personal privacy
  • Supreme Court decided in favor of Roe and said the fourteenth amendment guarantees the right to privacy

UC Regents v. Bakke (1978)

  • Allan Bakke was rejected into UC Davis Medical School on the basis of race as the school must admit 16 blacks for every 100 whites
  • Bakke argues he was denied solely on his race
  • The Supreme Court argued that Bakke should be admitted as the UC Davis race policies violate the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)

  • Missouri passed laws that prevented abortions claiming that life began at conception
  • The Supreme Court decided this did not violate the due process clause as the states don’t have to enter the business of abortion
  • The vitality tests were also considered constitutional as the state was trying to protect life before point of vitality
14 th amendment important cases continued2
14th Amendment- Important Cases (continued)

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992)

  • Pennsylvania had laws that regulated abortions (informing mother, 24 hour waiting period, etc.)
  • Some argued this violated the decision made in Roe v. Wade
  • Supreme Court decided that 4/5 of the states regulations should stay as they weren’t intended to interfere but to insure the protection and health of mother and fetus

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

  • After an anonymous tip two men (Lawrence and Garner) were arrested for having had consensual sexual intercourse with one another (homosexual intercourse was illegal in Texas)
  • Texas claimed its Homosexual Conduct Law was legal under the fourteenth amendment
  • Supreme Court declared the Texas law unconstitutional as the fourteenth amendment guaranteed privacy in one’s home; all similar laws were also illegal

Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)

  • Two whites were denied entrance to the University of Michigan, they claimed based on race
  • The University favored race over SAT scores
  • The Supreme Court decided that it was fair of the University to monitor the diversity of the school but that awarding more points for ethnicity than academics was unconstitutional as it violated the concept of equal protection under the 14th amendment
fifteenth amendment black s right to vote
Fifteenth AmendmentBlack’s Right to Vote

Every U.S. citizen’s right to vote will not be denied or abridged based on his/her skin color, race, or previous servitude status, ( being slaves).

Congress will now have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

15 th amendment important cases
15th Amendment-Important Cases
  • Myers v. Andersonand Guinn v. United Statesare Supreme Court cases dealing with the unconstitutionality of voter's literacy test and grandfather clause to prevented black males from voting.
  • NAMUDNO v. Holder(2009)
  • This ruling is an important one because it left the Voting Rights Act fully intact and capable of performing the important duties with which it was tasked, namely that of fighting racial discrimination in voting.
  • United States v Reese (1876)
  • A Kentucky electoral official refused to register an African‐American's vote in a municipal election and was sued for not requiring that:
    • ‘administrative preliminaries to elections be conducted without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude.’
    • A “ wrongful refusal to register votes,’ where a prerequisite step “required as foresaid” had been omitted.
  • S.C. upheld the poll tax, literacy test, and grandfather clause
  • The Court held that the 15th Amendment did not confer the right of suffrage but prohibited exclusion on racial grounds.
  • The justices invalidated the operative section 3 since it did not repeat the words about race, color, and servitude and thus exceeded the scope of the Fifteenth Amendment.
  • This case helped to undermine African Americans and their rights included in the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution
15 th amendment important cases continued
15th Amendment-Important Cases (continued)

Smith v. Allwright (1944)

  • Lonnie E. Smith, a black voter in Harris County, Texas, sued county election official S. S. Allwright for the right to vote in a primary election being conducted by the Democratic Party
  • he challenged the law that allowed the party to enforce a rule requiring all voters in its primary to be white
  • Texas claimed that the Democratic Party was a private organization that could set its own rules of membership. Smith argued that the law in question essentially disfranchised him by denying him the ability to vote in what was the only meaningful election in his jurisdiction
  •  A landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court with regard to voting rights and, by extension, racial desegregation. It overturned the Democratic Party’s use of all-white primaries in Texas, and other states where the party used to dominate.

Guinn v. United States An important U.S. Supreme Court decision that dealt with provisions of state constitutions that set qualifications for voters.

  • It found grandfather clause exemptions to literacy tests to be unconstitutional.
  • It was an exemption that favored white voters while it disfranchised black voters, most of whose grandfathers had been slaves and therefore unable to vote before 1866.
  • declared the grandfather clauses to be repugnant to the 15th Amendment and therefore null and void.
  • grandfather clause was ruled unconstitutional, state legislatures worked to develop other means of restricting voter registration. It took years for cases challenging those laws to reach the Supreme Court.
  • Provided that "all persons, except those who voted in 1914, who were qualified to vote in 1916 but who failed to register between April 30 and May 11, 1916 would be perpetually disenfranchised."
15 th amendment important cases continued1
15th Amendment-Important Cases (continued)

Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960)

  • Supreme Court was faced with the question of whether or not Act 140 of the Alabama legislature violated the 15th Amendment.
  • Passed in 1957, this act changed the boundaries of Tuskegee, Alabama.  It had been a fair area, yet, excluding all but a handful of potential African-American votes.
  • the Supreme Court held that the Act did violate the provision of the 15th Amendment prohibiting states from denying anyone their right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  • Congress' amendments returned the law to the pre-Bolden interpretation, under which violations of Section 2 did not require a showing of racially discriminatory intent

Giles v. Teasley (1904)

  • Jackson Giles sought to meet some of the Court's grounds for its rulings, but his challenge was rejected.
  • It was not until many years later that the Court would establish that the right to vote was protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and that federal courts have broad power to address deprivations of constitutional rights of citizens within states.
  • After Federal civil rights legislation was passed in the mid-1960s, it did in fact take several more years of Federal court oversight and Federal intervention and monitoring to ensure that African Americans were allowed to register to vote in the South.
  • When it was brought to the Supreme Court, some members of the Court (and the Executive Branch) did not consider exercising such powers years after Reconstruction had ended.
sixteenth amendment income tax
Sixteenth AmendmentIncome Tax

Congress can put a tax on income

Property tax doesn’t have to be apportioned by population as stated in Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan and Trust Co.

16 th amendment important cases
16th Amendment-Important Cases

Commissioner v. Glenshaw Glass Co. (1926)

  • The Supreme Court stated the modern definition of gross income– any increase in wealth falls under income

Penn Mutual Indemnity

  • The Federal Tax Courts asserted that the sixteenth amendment defines what can be taxed as an income
  • The power to tax on income comes not from the sixteenth amendment but from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution
seventeenth amendment direct election of senators
Seventeenth AmendmentDirect Election of Senators

Two senators from each state, elected by the people

Have six year terms

Each senator will have one vote in the Senate

If there is a vacant spot, the state can issue a writ of election to fill the spot

nineteenth amendment women s right to vote
Nineteenth AmendmentWomen’s Right to Vote

Right to vote guaranteed regardless of sex

19 th amendment important cases
19th Amendment- Important Cases

Leser v. Garnett (1922)

  • Some tried to persuade the ineligibility of the nineteenth amendment as it an amendment couldn’t be made over voting and that it would contradict the states that banned women from voting
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the fifteenth amendment (established for over 50 years) proved an amendment can be made about voting and for the states which banned females from voting the federal law overrides the state law
  • Established the Nineteenth amendment
twenty fourth amendment abolition of poll tax
Twenty-fourth AmendmentAbolition of Poll Tax

It’s the rights of the citizens of the U.S. to vote in any election and therefore, they should not be restricted by a Poll Tax.

twenty fifth amendment president disability and vp vacancy
Twenty-fifth AmendmentPresident Disability and VP vacancy

If President is removed from office, dies, or resigns, the Vice President becomes President

If a vacancy happens in the Vice Presidential spot, the President nominates a new Vice President that has to be confirmed by a majority in the House and Senate

The Vice President and/or a majority of the cabinet members can declare the President disabled , VP then steps in and Congress goes through a 21 day period to determine if the President really is unfit

Congress needs a 2/3 vote in both houses to officially determine that the current President is unfit for the job at the present time

If the President sends a declaration saying he is unfit for the time being, the Vice President takes over until the President sends another declaration saying he is able to do his job again

twenty sixth amendment eighteen year old vote
Twenty-sixth AmendmentEighteen Year Old Vote

The rights of citizens of the U.S. who are 18 or older can vote no matter what

Congress has the power to enforce this law.

elastic clause
Elastic Clause

The final paragraph of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution which authorizes Congress to pass all necessary and proper laws to carry out the enumerated powers (powers listed specifically in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution- coin money, regulate it’s value, impose taxes, and so forth)

elastic clause important cases
Elastic Clause- Important Cases

McCulloch v. Maryland

  • the court held that Congress was allowed to create a national bank because it was a way of carrying out the enumerated powers (power like creating the bank became implied powers)
supremacy clause
Supremacy Clause

The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land

Federal law is superior to state law

supremacy clause important cases
Supremacy Clause- Important Cases

Ware v. Hylton (1796)

  • Virginia had a law that allowed it to confiscate debt payments to the British (after Revolutionay War), this violated the national “Treaty of Paris”
  • Supreme Court used Supremacy Clause for first time to abolish a state law

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

  • Maryland passed a law saying any bank not directly controlled by the state would be given an extra tax
  • McCulloch, a cashier for the federal bank in Baltimore, refused to pay the tax and was sued by Maryland
  • Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had the power to create a national bank and that taxing the national government was unconstitutional

Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee (1816) and Cohens v. Virginia (1821)

  • Supreme Court stated that the Supremacy Clause gave the Supreme Court the authority to review any state court case that dealt with issues of the Constitution
supremacy clause important cases continued
Supremacy Clause- Important Cases (continued)

Ableman v. Booth(1859)

  • State officials in various states weren’t aiding with the Fugitive Slave Act
  • Supreme Court ruled that state courts can’t make decisions that contradict with the decisions made by the federal courts

Cooper v. Aaron (1958)

  • Arizona tried to nullify the decision made in Brown v. Board of Education which banned segregation of public schools based off of theory of state’s rights
  • Supreme Court ruled that the Supremacy Clause made federal law superior to state and that federal law could not be nullified by a state
commerce clause
Commerce Clause

Congress has the power of regulating commerce with foreign nations, within states and Indian tribes

Can coin money and regulate the value of it

Establishes rules on bankruptcies

Can borrow money from credit.

commerce clause important cases
Commerce Clause- Important Cases

Gibbons V. Ogden (1824)

  • Involves the rights of states to control and regulate interstate commerce.
  • Ogden was given permission to trade through the state of New York
  • Ogden finds himself in competition with Gibbons who has a right to navigate by the federal government.
  • Issue was whether Gibbons (federal) or Ogden (state) had the right to navigate commerce
  • The court ruled that the federal law triumphs state law in issues of commerce. It ruled in favor of Gibbons because commerce is to be regulated by a single authority (Congress) in order to promote uniformity in interstate commerce.

United States v Lopez (1995)

  • Alfonzo Lopez carried a concealed weapon into his high school.
  • Lopez claimed he had brought the gun to deliver to someone in exchange of money
  • The Supreme Court ruled that guns at school is not an economic activity and therefore not legal and that any laws prohibiting guns at school is for safety and not to limit economic activity
advise and consent
Advise and Consent

President needs “advice and consent” of senate with two thirds approval to make treaties and appoint ambassadors and other high ranking government officials

advise consent important example
Advise & Consent-Important Example
  • President Wilson’s 14 Points (League of Nations)
  • After World War I, Wilson created a treaty with Europe that created a League of Nations to prevent a similar occurrence
  • Senate disagreed with the League of Nations idea and refused to approve the treaty
  • The treaty was never signed by America
  • Senate has rejected several nominees
  • G. HarroldCarswell
  • Robert H. Bork
full faith and credit
Full Faith and Credit

Documents/licenses from one state to be honored in all other states

Recognize proceedings of sister courts

full faith and credit important cases
Full Faith and Credit- Important Cases

Haddock v. Haddock (1906)

  • a husband and wife, residents of New York, split
  • the husband moved to Connecticut and filed for divorce there, his wife stayed in New York where she sued for the divorce
  • issue was on wherever Connecticut could issue the divorce
  • Based on Full Faith and Credit any state can implement a divorce if one of the spouse’s can claim residency
establishment clause
Establishment Clause

Prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

Prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another.

Prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.

establishment clause important cases
Establishment Clause-Important Cases

Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)

  • Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were giving aid to parochial schools (schools that provide conventional as well as religious education)
  • Rhode Island’s statute provided 15% of the nonpublic school teachers’ salaries to be paid by the state
  • Pennsylvania’s statute provided financial support for teachers’ salaries, textbooks, and instructional materials in specified secular subjects
  • Both states gave aid to church-related educational institutions
  • Taxpayers and religious liberty groups sued because they felt that it was unconstitutional
  • Established the three-part Lemon test: in order to be constitutional a statute must “have a secular legislative purpose, neither advances nor inhibits religion,” and must not excessively entangle the government in religion.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that state funding of parochial schools is unconstitutional because it violated the third part of the test.