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Con Law
Con Law - Final aReview

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2 ways to get to strict scrutiny



1. suspect classificiation (race, alienage, ethnicity)


2. the right being afforded to one group and being denied to another is a fundamental right

Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center Inc

Held: Laws impacting the mentally retarded are NOT to be given heightened constitutional scrutiny


*case that established using 'rational basis' test for the mentally handicapped

Which of the statements below most accurately describes the intentions of the framers with respect to whether the Supreme Court should be given the power to invalidate acts of Congress?
(A) Some delegates thought that the Court should have the power to strike down acts of Congress inconsistent with natural law, even where no constitutional provisions had been violated.
(B) Some delegates believed that the Court should not be given the power to invalidate acts of Congress.
(C) Many delegates probably never gave the issue of judicial review serious consideration because they thought it unlikely that Congress would ever act unconstitutionally.
(D) All of the above statements are true.
In Craig v. Boren, the Court struck down Oklahoma's law which allowed 18-year old women to buy 3.2 beer, but required men to be 21 to purchase beer. What happens next?
(A) The law is void and any person of any age can buy beer.
(B) Eighteen-year-old men are free to buy beer, but the Oklahoma legislature would be free to raise the age for everyone to 21.
(C) The law remains enforceable as written until the Oklahoma legislature decides whether to raise the minimum age to 21 for everyone.
(D) Eighteen-year-olds are free to buy beer, and any attempt by Oklahoma to raise the age to 21 for everyone would be unconstitutional.
A city adopts an ordinance requiring the operators of massage parlors to receive licenses from the city. In the absence of more complete information, what would you say about the chances of successfully challenging the ordinance on constitutional grounds?
(A) Weak - the Court probably will uphold after applying rational basis test.
(B) Strong - the Court will probably strike down on "right of privacy" grounds.
(C) Strong - the Court will probably strike down on equal protection grounds unless the city also licenses most other businesses.
(D)Fairly strong - the court will probably apply middle-tier scrutiny since sex is involved.
The U.S. Constitution has as its most significant purposes --
(A) Conferring power on national and state governments
(B) Conferring power on the national government and limiting the power of national and state government
(C) Limiting the power of national and state government
(D) Conferring power on national government and limiting the power of national and state governments and private individuals
In Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court held that Texas may not deny a free public education to the children of illegal aliens. How did the Court justify its decisions?


(A) The statute lacked a rational basis.
(B) Alienage is a suspect classification and Texas could not show it had a compelling interest.
(C) Education is a fundamental right and Texas could not show that the statute was narrowly tailored.
(D) The Court held for the aliens on procedural grounds.

F.A.A. regulations prohibit commercial airlines from employing as pilots persons over age 60. The regulation is based on evidence that the incidence of serious health problems increases markedly in the mid-60's. This F.A.A. regulation could be described as:
(A) Primarily underinclusive
(B) Primarily overinclusive
(C) Equally overinclusive and underinclusive
(D) Lacking a rational basis
Which of the following was not identified by the Supreme Court in the Carolene Products case to be a factor which may justify more careful scrutiny of a statute that disadvantages a minority group?
(A) The group is underrepresented in the political process.
(B) The group lacks significant social contact with groups holding most political power.
(C) The group perceives itself as inferior to other groups in society.
(D) The group has been the victim of discrimination in the past.
Which of the laws below would be least  likely to raise a significant substantive due process issue under the analysis used in Griswold and Roe?
(A) a law prohibiting marriage between cousins
(B) a law establishing grounds for termination of parental rights
(C) a law prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults
(D) a law prohibiting indecent exposure
As interpreted by the Supreme Court in Marbury, which of the following statements can be made about
Art. III, 2?
(A) The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is set by the Constitution;  Congress can neither add to it nor subtract from it.
(B) Congress can  add to the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, but it can't subtract from it.
(C) Congress can subtract from the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, but it can't add to it.
(D) Congress can make "any exceptions" to the Supreme Court's jurisdiction it desires.
Which of the following theories about the applicability of the Bill of Rights to the states can be said to have emerged victorious?
 (A) The "No Incorporation" theory
 (B) The "Selective Incorporation Plus" theory
 (C) The "Total Incorporation" theory
 (D) The "Total Incorporation Plus" theory
Which of the following statements best describes the process of ratification of the Constitution?
(A) Ratification probably would not have occurred without the promise to swiftly propose a Bill of Rights.
(B) Ratification was a foregone conclusion given the stature of those attending the Philadelphia Convention.
(C) Ratification became possible only because of the efforts of George Washington, author of The Federalist papers.
(D) Ratification occurred largely because opposition to the Constitution was weak and disorganized.
(E) Ratification would probably not have occurred if not for bribes paid to state legislators in key states.
Which of the following statements most accurately describes how the Court has treated statutes that disadvantage indigents?
(A) Indigency is a suspect classification triggering strict scrutiny.
(B) The Court has been sympathetic to claims of indigents when the state imposes a substantial fee before it confers an important benefit, but the Court has been unwilling to use the equal protection clause to help indigents achieve a minimum standard of living.
(C) The Court has been particularly unreceptive to claims based on indigency, and his consistently treated statutes denying benefits to indigents to rational basis review.
(D ) Indigency has been recognized as a quasi-suspect classification, and the level of scrutiny is similar to that used in gender cases.
(E) The Court has stated that it will use a “sliding scale” analysis in cases involving indigents.
The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution...
(A) Repeals the Seventh Amendment.
(B) Imposes a specific limitation on the power of the states to intrude into matters of privacy.
(C) Prohibits the quartering of soldiers in private homes.
(D) Provides that the specification of rights in the first eight amendments isn’t meant to be exhaustive.
(E) Guarantees that states shall have powers not delegated to the Federal Government.
Which of the following governmental actions is most likely vulnerable to successful constitutional challenge, given the Court’s decisions in the “right to travel” cases?
(A) A gasoline tax.
(B) Highway tolls.
(C) Denial of passport.
(D) A law requiring state employees to reside in the state.
(E) A law limiting public housing to persons who have lived in the state for at least one year.
Assume a state passes a law requiring all uneducable mentally retarded persons (defined with reference to scores on a standardized exam) to be sterilized at age 15.  Which of the following is probably the weakest argument to use in a constitutional challenge to the law?
A) Mentally retarded persons have the attributes of a “discrete and insular minority” and should be treated as a “suspect class”.
(B) The law violates the mentally retarded persons’ right of privacy protected in Griswold and Roe.
(C) The right to bear children and raise a family is a fundamental right triggering strict scrutiny of the classification involved.
Which of the following statements about the Takings Clause is not accurate?

(A) The government generally may take private property, so long as it pays just compensation.

(B) Private property may not be taken by the government for a private use.
(C) The Takings Clause applies only to real property, not personal property.
(D) The Supreme Court has not held the Takings Clause violated in over three decades.
(E) Both (C) and (D) are false.
Which of the following has not been identified by the Court as a factor to consider in deciding whether a taking has occurred?
(A) The value of the property involved.
(B) Whether the government has interfered with investor-backed expectations.
(C) The value of the property before the government action compared to its value after the government action.
(D) The character of the government action.
Which of the following has not been advanced as a major justification for the state action requirement?
(A) Equality
(B) Liberty
(C) Pluralism
(D) Principles of federalism
Which of the following is most likely to be found to be state action under the “Public Function” Doctrine?
(A) The maintenance of a private amusement park such as Disneyland.
(B) The operation of a parking ramp.
(C) The actions of a volunteer fire department.
(D) The actions of a private firm hired by a state to collect delinquent taxes.
Justice Black argued that the Fourteenth Amendment “absorbed” the specific guarantees of the Bill of Rights and no more because:
(A) The Bill of Rights contains the most fundamental guarantees of liberty.
(B) He was told that was the  purpose of the Amendment by one of its framers.
(C) He was concerned about having cases decided by the “gut feelings” of judges.
(D) He wanted to annoy Justice Frankfurter, with whom he had a long-lasting feud.
Which of the following rules of constitutional interpretation is NOT generally followed by the U. S. Supreme Court?
(A) As a general rule, if a case can be decided on statutory grounds, the Court will not reach constitutional issues.
(B) The Court will generally accept state supreme court interpretations of state statutes.
(C) The Coiurt will not agree to decide a constitutional question when the state court decision below is supported by an independent and adequate state ground.
(D) The Court is generally more reluctant to overrule one of its own precedents decided on constitutional grounds than one of its precedents decided on statutory grounds.
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