Constitutional Law

  1. Federal Judicial Power
    • Defined by Article III of the Constitution: Requires SCOTUS only actual consider cases and controversies.
    • Cases must be justiciable; no advisory opinions.

    • Requirements:
    • 1) Standing
    • 2) Ripeness
    • 3) Mootness
    • 4) No political questions
  2. Standing Requirement
    Standing is the issue of whether the plaintiff is the proper party to bring suit.

    • 4 Requirements:
    • 1) Injury. P must allege/prove that he has been injured or imminently will be injured; mere ideological objection is insufficient; must be injuries personally suffered. Plaintiffs seeking injunctive or declaratory relief must show a likelihood of future harm.
    • 2) Causation & Redressability. P must show that D caused the injury so that a favorable decision is will remedy the harm. If it would have no effect, it is an advisory opinion, and thus barred.
    • 3) No Third Party Standing. P can't asset others claim. Exceptions: (1) close relationship b/t P And the injured third party so P can adequately represent the injured party; (2) where injured party is unlikely to be able to assert his or her own rights, i.e. jurors; (3) an organization can sue for its members if (a) members would have standing; (b) interests are germane to the organization's purpose; and (c) neither the claim nor relief requires participation of the members.
    • 4) No Generalized Grievances. P can't sue solely as a citizen or a taxpayer. Exception: taxpayers have standing to challenge government expenditures pursuant to fed. statutes as violating the Establishment Clause (First Amendment)
  3. Ripeness Requirement
    Whether of whether a federal court may grant pre-enforcement review of a statute or regulation.

    • This is the most likely place you will see a question about declaratory judgments.
    • 2 Criteria:
    • 1) the hardship that will be suffered w/o pre-enforcement review;
    • 2) the fitness of the issues & the record for judicial review.
  4. Mootness Requirement
    If events after the filing of the lawsuit have ended P's injury, the case must be dismissed as moot b/c P must present a live controversy, though non-frivolous monetary damages claims will keep the case alive.

    Exception 1: the wrong is capable of repetition but evades review b/c of its inherently limited time duration, i.e. abortion.

    Exception 2: voluntary cessation by D who can easily start again

    Exception 3: class action suits, as long as one person's claim remains unresolved
  5. Political Question Doctrine
    Federal courts will not adjudicate political questions

    • Four kinds of non-justiciable political questions:
    • 1) US shall guarantee each state a republican form of government (Article IV, Sec 4) (Guarantee Clause
    • 2) Challenges to the President's conduct of foreign policy;
    • 3) Challenges to the impeachment & removal process;
    • 4) challenges to partisan gerrymandering
Card Set
Constitutional Law
Constitutional Law