Shared Flashcard Set


Con Law Midterm 2013
Con Law Midterm
Political Studies
Undergraduate 4

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Ex Parte Quirin (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: German saboteurs (1 is US citizen) arrive in US, and FDR orders trial by military commission, though civil courts were functioning; petitioned for habeas writ
Question: Did the President violate the Constitution by ordering that the soldiers be tried in a military court rather than the civil courts?
Ruling (Stone): President has power as C-in-C, and Articles of War establish military commission as appropriate for offenses against law of war. Unlawful combatants b/c didn't wear uniforms, so no violation, and 5th and 6th am's don't extend to violators of laws of war.
Ex parte Milligan (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: Lincoln suspended the writ and ordered trial by commission of all those disloyal to the union. Mulligan, a Confed sympathizer, tried in Indiana, which wasn't in rebellion.
Question: Did the military commission have jurisdiction to try cases in states that aren't in rebellion? May the writ of habeas be suspended in those cases?
Ruling (Davis): Congress has Const power to establish Courts, and it didn't establish the military commission. Milligan should be tried in civilian cts b/c Indiana isn't in rebellion, so martial law unnecessary. His Const rights were violated b/c denied trial by jury. Const provides for suspension but doesn't say people may be tried outside common courts
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: Yaser Hamdi, US citizen seized as enemy combatant, held infefinitely w/o formal charges. Filed petition for habeas b/c Mobbs Declaration wasn't sufficient basis to conclude his detention was w/in President's war powers
Question: Was Hamdi's Due Process right violated by the gov't when he was held w/o an attorney and indefinitely upon Executive branch determination he was an enemy combatant? Are courts required by sep of powers to defer to Exec determinations?
Ruling (O'Connor): Congress authorized detention, but Due Process gives citizens held in US as enemy combatants the right to contest the holding in ct and hear charges against them. Gov't may detain enemies, including citizens, but detainees who are citizens must have rights of due process and ability to challenge combatant status before impartial authority
Dissent (Scalia): AUMF not exercise of suspension clause. Hamdi entitled to habeas decree unless criminal proceedings are promptly brought or Congress suspends the writ
Executive Authority over Accused During War
Ex Parte Quirin (w/in war powers to try by civilian court)
Ex Parte Milligan (use of military courts to try civilians where civil courts are functioning is unconstitutional)
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (Detention okay, but 5th am DPC gives right to contest detention. sep of powers doesn't prevent judiciary from hearing challenge)
Korematsu v. US (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: FDR exec order for Jap-Am exclusion from military zones; Korematsu refused
Question: Did Congress and the Pres overstep their const war powers in mandating the exclusion of Jap-Ams from certain zones?
Ruling (Black): As in Hirabayashi, need to protect against espionage in times of emergency outweighs Korematsu's rights; can't reject discretion of military authorities b/c falls w/in war powers
Dissent (Jackson): Racially motivated and based on inherited, not personal guilt; not reasonably expedient mil precaution
US v. Pink (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: FDR signed Litinov Agreement w/ Russia, saying that instead of USSR and US prosecuting claims for recovery of assets against other's citizens, they would give title claims to assets back to each other. Fed gov't sought to recover assets of NY branch of First Russian Insurance Co. and sued Louis Pink, NY Superintendent for Insurance
Question: Does the executive agreement with Russia compel NY to release its assets?
Ruling (Douglas): Sole organ doctrine from Curtiss-Wright. Supremacy of treaty power and foreign relations actions aren't subject to state policies, since states can't alter foreign policy. When US acts w/in its Const sphere to enforce foreign policy, state action is irrelevant
US v. Curtiss-Wright corp (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: Cong Joint Res authorized President to order arms sale embargo on Paraguay and Bolivia; CW Corp sold arms to Bolivia
Question: Has Congress unconstitutionally delegated one of its essential legislative functions to the exec?
Ruling (Sutherland): Delegation of leg function would be unconst internally, but power over external affairs differs. Enumerated powers only limits Congress internally, since states never had power over external affairs, which originated w/ Britain. Pres is sole organ in external relations, giving him broad discretion whether to issue proclamation
Unilateral Executive Powers
Korematsu v. US (during time of emergency, war powers may trump individual rights)
US v. Pink (state policy can't interfere w/ suprmeacy of foreign relations and agreements made by sole organ)
US v. Curtiss-Wright (Exec as sole organ over external; distinction b/c external didn't originate w/ states)
Myers v. US (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: Congress 1876 law required Senate approval for removal of postmasters. In 1929, Wilson ordered removal of postmaster Frank Myers w/o Senate approval
Question: May Congress limit the President's removal power over executive officers by requiring Senate approval?
Ruling (Taft): Power to remove exec officers differs from auth to consent to or reject appts. Exec auth under Article 2 includes removal power as part of obligation to faithfully execute laws
Dissent: Postmasters are inferior officers under Art 2, Sec 2, and Congress has historically asserted right to restrict removal of inferior officers. Pres fulfills Const duty if he does best to faithfully execute laws w/in limits Congress prescribes. Cong confers on Pres appt power, so may prescribe tenure/term
Humphrey's Executor v. US (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: FTC Act specifies reason why commissioner can be removed; Humphrey removed on political grounds by FDR
Question: Does FTC Act unconstitutionally interfere w/ Exec power by limiting the Pres's removal power to specific cases?
Ruling (Sutherland): Differs from Myers b/c postmaster is purely executive and FTC commissioner has quasi-leg and quasi-jud function. Whether exec power to remove officer prevails over Cong's restrictions depends on character of office
Bowsher v. Synar (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: Under Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, Comptroller General makes recommendation to Pres on deficit estimates and budget reduction, which are then ordered by Pres. Comp Gen removable by Congress
Question: Is CG a legislative agent, thus preventing him from exercising exec power? Is power delegated to CG by Congress exec in nature? Is sep of powers violated by CG, a leg agent, exercising exec power?
Ruling (CJ Burger): Cong role in removal of exec officers beyond impeachment is unconst. Cong retained removal auth over CG, so he may not be entrusted w/ exec auth. Recommending cuts to Pres is exec function, and Const prohibits Cong from retaining control of exec function.
Dissent: Power is exec but removal by Joint Res doesn't render CG an agent of Congress
Appointment/Removal Powers
Myers v. US (Executive authority under Art 2 entails removal power of exec officers as part of obligation to faithfully execute laws)
Humphrey's Executor v. US (Exec power of removal only prevails over Congressional restrictions on removal if office is purely executive)
Bowsher v. Synar (Congress can't retain removal power over Comp Gen, since he exercises exec power)
Morrison v. Olson (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: Ethics in Gov't Act provided for indep counsel to investigate pres subordinates, if approved by Ct of Appeals of DC. Counsel removable by AG for specified reasons. AG Theodore Olson investigated
Question: If indep counsel is inferior officer, is Cong empowered to place appt power outside exec branch? Does provision restricting AG's removal power to "good cause" interfere w/ Pres's exercise of his constitutionally appointed functions? Does limitation of removal violate the sep of powers?
Ruling (Rehnquist): Is inf officer b/c subject to removal by higher exec official. Appt clause history doesn't intend to prevent Congress from providing for interbranch appts w/ jud involved. No incongruity btwn functions normally performed by courts and performance of appt duty. Limitation on removals doesn't interfere w/ faithful execution of laws and sep of powers.
Dissent (Scalia): Gov'tal investigation is exec function. Humphrey's established that limiting removal to good cause is impediment to presidential control of exec function. Ct holds any exec officer's removal may be restricted so long as Pres can still accomplish role; sep of powers is strict and shouldn't be balanced
Mistretta v. US (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: Cong created Sentencing Commission to create sentencing guidelines for fed offenses. Mistretta indicted for dealing coke.
Question: Does delegation of power to promulgate sentencing guidelines for federal offenses grant the Sentencing Commission excessive legislative discretion, in violation of the nondelegation doctrine?
Ruling (Blackmun): Delegation to sentencing commission has a sufficiently intelligible principle w/ restrictions, which communicates Cong's will. Experts come up with appropriate standards b/c Cong can't or doesn't have time.
Dissent (Scalia): Cong can't delegate b/c it doesn't have time, but only if degree of discretion inheres in exec or judicial action. Delegation here is excessive b/c provides standards for further legislation, not exercise of exec of jud powers
Industrial Union Dept AFL-CIO v. American Petroleum Institute (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: OSHA authorized to set standards for toxic substances. OSHA set benzene exposure at 1 ppm, and Amer Petrol Inst sued.
Question: Did Congress improperly delegate the setting of standards to the Sec of Labor?
Ruling (Rehnquist): Nondelegation doctrine functions to ensure important policy choices are made by responsive Congress. Cong didn't provide an intelligible principle and didn't ensure that courts could test exercise of delegated discretion against ascertainable standards
Rehnquist/Scalia Interpretation of Delegation of Power
Morrison v. Olson (Interbranch appts okay for inferior officer b/c no incongruity btwn judicial role and performance of appt duty.
Mistretta v. US (Delegation to sentencing commission meets intelligible principle based on Cong's restrictions)
Industrial Union Dept AFL-CIO v. American Petroleum Institute (Delegation to OSHA lacks intelligible principle and isn't adjudicable by cts)

Rehnquist (Morrison and Industrial Union): permits delegation where there is an intelligible standard and doesn't interfere with performance of each branch's constitutional duties
Scalia (Morrison dissent and Mistretta dissent): delegation only permissible insofar as legislative power inheres in exec or jud action. Strict separation of powers that doesn't judge based only on whether branches are still able to perform functions
Schecter Poultry Co. v. US (Facts, Question, Ruling)
Facts: NAtional Recovery Administration authorized to establish fair codes of competition; Schecter Bros slaughterhouses violated codes
Question: Did Congress unconstitutionally delegate its legislative power under Art I by authorizing the NRA to create codes of fair competition?
Ruling: Minimally and indirectly interstate commerce, so ICC doesn't apply. Exec branch authorized to include under codes whatever "tends to effectuate" NIRA's purposes w/o meaningful limitations, since not bound by what offends existing laws. Unconst b/c no standards for limits of Pres power
INS v. Chadha (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: INS ordered suspension of Chadha's deportation order, but vetoed by House under provision of Immigration and Naturalization Act
Question: Does legislative veto violate the Presentment Clause or bicameral requirements of Art I? Does legislative veto violate the const separation of powers?
Ruling (CJ Burger): Expedient invention that violates the bicameral requirement and Presentment Clause b/c House acted alone. Action is legislative in nature, and Congress can only act unicamerally in identified cases. Congress must abide by previous delegation of power.
Dissent (White): Veto allows Cong to keep check on power rather than delegating entirely. Not all action w/ leg effect must follow leg procedures
Clinton v. City of NY (Facts, Question, Ruling, Dissent)
Facts: Line Item Veto Act of 1996 challenged after Pres vetoed budget provision
Question: Does Line Item Veto Act violate the Presentment Clause of Art I by permitting the President to cancel individual budget items after signing a bill into law?
Ruling: Veto violates Presentment Clause; interprets Const silence as a prohibition. Differs from traditional authority to decline to spend appropriate funds b/c Pres gives unilateral power to change text of duly enact statutes. Doesn't follow Const method for repealing statutes, giving Pres ultimate authority
Dissent: No omnibus bills at time of Founding; power is exec in nature and Congress retains disapproval power. Scalia: no different from withholding appropriated funds
Improper Delegation of Congressional Power
Schecter Poultry (Exec branch given too broad discretion to set fair codes w/o meaningful limitations)
INS v. Chadha (Expedient invention of legislative veto violates presentment and bicameral requirements and sep of powers b/c doesn't abide by delegation)
Clinton v. City of NY (Violates presentment clause b/c doesn't follow Const process for laws and gives Pres unilateral power to change text of statutes)
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