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Constitutional Study Guide
Transcript of Constitutional Study Guide
Michael Seltzer, Clarissa Barr 1st Amendment 2nd Amendment 6th Amendment 4th Amendment 10th Amendment 5th Amendment 13th Amendment Freedom of Religion, Speech,
Press, Petition, and Assembly. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms Those accused have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury from the state and district where the crime took place and where the district rules were violated. They are also informed of the nature and cause of said accusation, presented in front of witnesses, as well as an process for obtaining witnesses in favor. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. The right of the people to be secure in their persons,houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This states that no person is allowed to search or seize persons, houses, papers, or other belonging without a search warrant. This was put in place to allow the people to feel safe in their own life. States the Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people. Outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. 8th Amendment 9th Amendment 12th Amendment 14th Amendment 15th Amendment 16th Amendment 17th Amendment 19th Amendment 24th Amendment 26th Amendment 27th Amendment 25th Amendement Elastic Clause Supremacy Clause Commerce Clause Advise & Consent Full Faith & Credit Establishment
Clause Amendments Goodies Excessive bail shall not be required,
nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel
and unusual punishments inflicted.
This amendment was put in place to ensure that all punishment fit the crime. It prohibits the government from punishing a criminal with too large of a fine, bail, or punishment. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
In the United States, it protects against federal infringement of unenumerated rights.
Also interpreted to protect against state infringement of certain unenumerated rights including, among others, the right to send one's children to private school and the right to marital privacy. Explains the process of electing the president and vice president and the importance and status of the electoral college and the terms of how they operate. Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States. Prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" Gives congress the ability to impose or collect income tax without distributing it equally among the states or basing it on the Census results. This amendment exempted income taxes from the constitutional requirements regarding direct taxes, this was after income taxes on rents, dividends, and interest were ruled to be direct taxes. This allows the direct election of Senators by popular vote. This Amendment actually supersedes Articles 1 and 3, which states that senators are elected by state legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of each state shall issue an order of election to fill such vacancies: provided that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This amendment gave women the right to vote,something that women fought for for years. If restricted by state or federal government, the Congress can enforce it with legislation. Abolition of Poll Tax
Prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This allowed 18 year old citizens to vote. With this, younger citizens were given a voice to decide their country's leaders, but they are the group that are least likely to vote. No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened
This prevents members of Congress from granting themselves pay raises during the current session. Rather, any raises that are adopted must take effect during the next session of Congress. Proponents of the amendment believed that legislators are more likely to be cautious about increasing congressional pay if they have no personal stake in the vote.
Amendments: 3, 7, 11, 18,
20, 21, 22, 23 Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President temporarily of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President temporarily of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. (Article IV, Section 1)
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
States that all valid government acts, licenses, records, rulings, and other related materials be recognized in all states of the US. To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
A clause in the U.S. Constitution that empowers the Congress to make laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its powers. This clause declares federal law to have jurisdictional authority over state laws in the event that there is a conflict between laws established by two governing bodies. (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3)
Congress has the power to regulate trade with foreign nations, states, and Indian tribes.
1. Foreign Commerce Clause
2. Interstate Commerce Clause
3. Indian Commerce Clause
Often paired with the Necessary and Proper Clause. The federal government and state government may not instill an official religion.
This is controversial when it comes to the issue of the government being able to fund church schools without violating the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment.
Funding these schools would be crossing a line that the Constitution put up to separate church and state. The authority given by the U.S. Constitution to the Senate to ratify treaties and confirm presidential cabinet, ambassadorial, and judicial appointment.
English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts, describing a situation in which the executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch. Significant Court Cases Schenck v. United States (1919):
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated in this case his famous aphorism about "falsely shouting fire in a theatre" and set forth a "clear and present danger test" to judge whether speech is protected by the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions of the defendants for conspiring to violate certain federal statutes by attempting to incite subordination in the armed forces and interfere with recruitment and enlistment. During wartime, the defendants mailed to new recruits and enlisted men leaflets that compared military conscription to involuntary servitude and urged them to assert constitutional rights.
SC decided to convict Schenck because he posed a clear and present danger to the armed forces/enlistment and recruiting during wartime (which put more restraints on the 1st Amendment) Allowed the Espionage Act of 1917 to be a reasonable limitation of speech during times of war Gitlow v. NY (1925)
Restricted speech even more but also ensured the amendment’s protection of free speech in each state. Roth v. United States (1957)
Along with its companion case Alberts v. California, was a landmark case before the United States Supreme Court.
Redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment. Significant Court Cases Carey v. Musladin (2006)
A defendant in a murder trial is not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury if courtroom spectators wear buttons showing a picture of the deceased. Branzburg v. Hayes (1972)
Compelling a journalist to reveal confidential sources before a grand jury does not violate the Freedom of the Press Clause of the First Amendment.
"shield laws" to protect journalists from being punished for refusing to reveal their sources. Significant Court Causes Bowers v. Hardwick:
Anti-sodomy laws are unconstitutional
Eisenstadt v. Baird:
Prohibited the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people, ruling that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
Griswold v. Connecticut:
ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. These cases prove that the 9th amendment is necessary because it keeps the constitution a “live” document that can be applied to everyday law decisions. It gives insight for judges to approach a conclusion that promises the rights guaranteed by people. Significant Court Cases United States v. Sprague, (1931)
"The Tenth Amendment added nothing to the Constitution as originally ratified, and lends no support to the contention that the people did not delegate this power to Congress in matters affecting their own personal liberty." United States v. Darby Lumber Co. (1941)
Supreme Court unanimously held the (Interstate) Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate all labor to prevent unfair trade practices between the states.
This decision overturned earlier precedents that permitted the states more leeway to regulate commerce and labor. New York v. United States (1992)
Involving an unfunded mandate Printz v. United States (1997)
Overturned the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act on the grounds that it unconstitutionally required state officials to enforce a federal program. These court cases are significant to the tenth amendment of the Bill of Rights because they show examples of resolutions to debates over rights decided in the central government setting versus the state setting. It also provides a balance between government powers as well as proper representation of the people. Significant Court Cases Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)
Supreme Court ruled that the power to regulate interstate commerce encompassed the power to regulate interstate navigation.
The reach and power of state legislature versus federal law.
Fulton and Livingston were granted the right to navigate the waters of NY by the state. Livingston then grants Ogden (prosecution) the right to navigate New York and New Jersey.
Ogden finds himself in competition with Gibbons (defense) who believes he has the right to navigate given to him by the federal government. Swift and Company vs. US (1905)
In 1905, the Court used the Commerce Clause to half price fixing in the Chicago Meat Industry, when it ruled that Congress had authority to regulate the local meat market under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act Act.It found that business done even at a purely local level could become part of a continuous “current” of commerce that involved the interstate movement of goods and services. A 1789 Act of Congress provided that the pilots of ships in the interior waters of the United States would continue to be regulated in conformity with the existing laws of the states, until Congress provided otherwise through legislation. In 1803 Pennsylvania enacted a law requiring ships entering or leaving the port of Philadelphia to engage a local pilot to guide them through the harbor and imposed a penalty for noncompliance.
The Board of Wardens claimed Cooley violated the Pennsylvania law.
He argued that Congress’ commerce power gave it exclusive jurisdiction over interstate commerce and Congress could not delegate or confer that authority to the States.
Supreme Court held that Congress does not have the exclusive power to regulate interstate commerce. Significant Court Cases Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan and Trust Co
The court ruled that taxes on income from property should be treated as a tax on “property by reason of its ownership” and so it should be required to be apportioned, or taxes should be distributed equally. Significant Court Cases Smith v. Allwright
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 held by the Democratic Party. The law he challenged allowed the party to enforce a rule requiring all voters in its primary to be white. Because the Democratic Party had controlled politics in the South since the late 19th century, most Southern elections were decided by the outcome of the Democratic Party primary.The Democratic Party said that they had the right to make their own rules, but Smith argued that it took away his citizenship when taking away his right to vote. The court ruled in his favor. Significant Court Cases McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Firmly established the broad scope of the Elastic Clause.
The Court decided that congressional actions are constitutional as long as they are based on one of the expressed powers and are "consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution." United States v. Comstock (2010)
Decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, which held that the federal government has authority under the Necessary and Proper Clause to require the civil commitment of individuals already in Federal custody.
Upheld against a challenge that it fell outside the enumerated powers granted to Congress by the Constitution. Significant Court Cases McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
The Supreme Court reviewed a tax levied by the state of Maryland on the federally incorporated Bank of the United States.
The Court found that if a state had the power to tax a federally incorporated institution, then the state effectively had the power to destroy the federal institution, thereby thwarting the intent and purpose of Congress.
The Court found that this would be inconsistent with the Supremacy Clause, which makes federal law superior to state law.
The Court therefore held that Maryland's tax on the Bank was unconstitutional because it violated the Supremacy Clause. Silkwood v Kerr-McGee (1984)
The Court found that a $10 million dollar punitive damages award against a nuclear power plant for negligently allowing employee (and union activist) Karen Silkwood to be contaminated with plutonium was not impliedly preempted by federal law.
Even though the Court had recently held that state regulation of the safety aspects of a federally-licensed nuclear power plant was preempted, the Court drew a different conclusion with respect to Congress's desire to displace state tort law--even though the tort actions might be premised on a violation of federal safety regulations. Cipollone v Liggett Group (1992)
A case concerning the extent of an express preemption provision in two cigarette labeling laws of the 1960s.
The case was a wrongful death action brought against tobacco companies on behalf of Rose Cipollone, a lung cancer victim who had started smoking cigarette in the 1940s.
The Court concluded that several types of state tort actions were preempted by the provision, but allowed other types to go forward.
Debate between justices over whether express preemption provisions should be read narrowly (a view adopted by seven justices) or read normally (a view favored by Justices Thomas and Scalia). Gonzales v Oregon (2006)
This case considered whether Congress, in enacting the Controlled Substances Act, intended to preempt state laws such as that of Oregon's which authorized physicians (under strictly controlled circumstances) to prescribe lethal doses of controlled drugs for terminally ill patients.
The Court held that the Act did not authorize preemption of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.
Significant Court Cases Everson v. Board of Education (1947)
The Supreme Court was asked to consider if the state of New Jersey could finance the transportation of Catholic School children on public buses.
The court said yes because transportation, like police protection, served the public and benefited the kids more than the school.
The "child benefit theory" emerged from this ruling and helped determine future cases. McCollum v. Board of Education
The Illinois state plan offered religious instruction in the public schools. Children who didn’t want to participate could be reassigned to other classes like study hall.
The Supreme Court ruled that this did violate the Establishment Clause because the students would be forced to take the classes or risk being excluded by their peers and teacher. Significant Court Cases Harper v. Virginia Board Elections (1969)
Ruled that poll taxes for state elections were unconstitutional because they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Breedlove v. Suttles (1937)
Poll tax ruled constitutional in SC case decision.
At first, amendment made it still legal on state level. Significant Court Cases McDonald v. Chicago
The Supreme Court invalidates Chicago's handgun ban and holds the Second Amendment applies to the states.
District of Columbia v. Heller
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. U.S. v. Cruikshank
Involved members of the Ku Klux Klan depriving black victims of their basic rights such as freedom of assembly and to bear arms.
The court decided that neither the First nor Second Amendments applied to the states, but were limitations on Congress.
Thus the federal government had no power to correct these violations, rather the citizens had to rely on the police power of the states for their protection from private individuals. Presser v. Illinois
Ruled that the states had the right to strictly regulate private military groups and associations.
Limitation upon the federal government and not the states.
U.S. v. Miller (1939)
Frank Layton and Jack Miller were charged with violating the 1934 National Firearms Act, which regulated and taxed the transfer of certain types of firearms, and required the registration of such arms.
The National Firearms Act was not an unconstitutional usurpation of police power reserved to the states. Significant Court Cases In Selective Draft Law Cases (1918)
The Supreme Court ruled that the military draft was not "involuntary servitude".
United States v. Kozminski (1988)
The Supreme Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not prohibit compulsion of servitude through psychological coercion.
Kozminski limited involuntary servitude to those situations when the master subjects the servant to certain things. Significant Court Cases Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
Case in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions and the 14th amendment grants them civil rights.
Bush v. Gore (2000)
The Court ruled that the Florida Supreme Court's method for recounting ballots was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The reason for this was the lack of equal treatment of all the ballots cast in Florida. Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural rights. Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in United States education. In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that laws arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection Clause Significant Court Cases Guinn v. United States (1915)
Important 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.
Myers v Anderson
Involved some questions which were not in the Guinn Case—foundation question, however, is the same; that is, the operation and effect of the 15th Amendment Significant Court Cases Mills v. Duryee (1813) and Hampton v. McConnell (1818)
Ruled that a judgment rendered in one state or territory generally has conclusive effect in other states or territories.
Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health
Denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated provisions of the state constitution guaranteeing individual liberty and equality, and was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
Significant Court Cases Oregon v. Mitchell
States could set their own age limits for state elections.
Significant Court Cases Reed v. Reed
Ruled that the administrators of estates cannot be named in a way that discriminates between sexes.
This was a stepping stone to suffrage.
Minor v. Happersett
One of the first attempts for women’s suffrage.
The Supreme Court upheld state court decisions in Missouri, which had refused to register a woman as a lawful voter because that state's laws allowed only men to vote. United States v. Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony was tried in court for illegally voting.
Although she lost the case, she created an opportunity to spread her arguments for women’s suffrage to a wider audience than ever before
Leser v. Garnett
A case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had been constitutionally established.
Significant Court Cases Dumbra v. US (1925)
Defined what is meant by probable cause.
The Court ruled that probable cause was a lesser standard than that used to convict a person of a crime.
The officer does not have to be correct in his assumption that a crime had been committed, he just has to be reasonably convinced by the facts.
Griswold v. Connecticut
Addressed rights to marital privacy.
Ruled that personal privacy is a right protected by the constitution.
Mapps v. Ohio (1961)
Supreme Court extended 4th Amendment restrictions to all state governments.
Before this time, the 4th Amendment was only applied to the Federal Government.
Katz v. US (1967)
Used widely in judging 4th Amendment cases.
The test states that the government's actions must not infringe upon the person's subjective expectation of privacy , and secondly, that the expectation of privacy is reasonable, meaning that society in general would agree that it is private.
Terry v. Ohio (1968)
The Supreme Court allowed for a pat down search without a warrant if the officer observed suspicious behavior and reasonably believed that a crime was being committed.
In this case, the Court said the officer must be able to point to specific facts that led him to this belief.
Significant Court Cases Miranda v. Arizona
After being arrested for the theft and being interrogated by police for two hours, Ernesto Miranda confessed that he had kidnapped and raped a woman a few days earlier.
Miranda was not told that he could have an attorney present during questioning, nor was he told he had the right to remain silent.
The Supreme Court eventually ruled that his confession was not admissible in court. The Court said basically that the right not to incriminate oneself is so important, that law enforcement officials must establish safeguards to protect this right of the individual being questioned.
Now police are required to read criminals their Miranda rights
Dred Scott vs. Sandford
Ruled that slaves, former slaves and the children of slaves or former slaves could never be citizens of the United States.
The Court also said that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in United States Territories, that slaves could not sue in court and that slaves could not be taken from their owners without due process.
Johnson v. Eisentrager
Ruled that foreign enemies have no more rights than Americans do.
They reasoned that "American citizens conscripted into the military service are thereby stripped of their Fifth Amendment rights and as members of the military establishment are subject to its discipline, including military trials for offenses against aliens or Americans.”
Chambers vs. Florida
Supreme Court ruled that physical torture is not the only condition that could make a confession unreliable and inadmissible in court.
Roe v. Wade
Utilized substantive due process to declare a Texas law banning abortions unconstitutional.
US v. Moreland
That an infamous crime is one in which the punishment for the crime could be a prison sentence. In other words, an infamous crime is committed based on the potential punishment. The actual punishment given is not relevant. Significant Court Cases Furman v. Georgia
Required guidelines to give death penalty to criminals, essentially barring the death penalty.
Gregg v. Georgia
Reaffirmed the death penalty from Furman v. Georgia.
Waters-Pierce Oil Co. v. Texas
Charged with violating Texas' anti-trust law. Waters-Pierce alleged in their countersuit that the large fine violated the Excessive Fines Clause.
The Court disagreed.
What makes this case important is that it sets up a standard for judging whether or not a fine is "excessive." Weems v. United States
The first time the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court's decision that a punishment was indeed "cruel and unusual."
Paul Weems was sentenced to 15 years in prison with certain conditions to the confinement.
Weems challenged the punishment as a violation of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause.
Court agreed and it was established as a "principle of proportionality" when punishments are handed down.
Trop v. Dulles
Set a precedent for how the Court would determine which crimes were cruel and unusual and which ones were not.
Robinson v. California
Ruled that a California law making it a misdemeanor to "be addicted to the use of narcotics" was unconstitutional.
Coker v. Georgia
Made it illegal to execute someone for the crime of rape or any other crime less than murder
Atkins v. Virginia
Ruled that it is a violation of the 8th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause to execute someone who is mentally retarded. Roper v. Simmons
Christopher Simmons murdered a woman and received a death penalty, but it was lessened to a life sentence.
The Court stated that a national consensus against executing minors was developing in the United States, due to the fact that 18 of the 38 states that allowed the death penalty had already made it against the law to execute minors.
Graham v. Florida
Terrance Jamar Graham was charged with was charged as an adult for armed burglary with assault and battery in Florida.
He was 17 at the time of the crime and received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Ruled that a life sentence without possibility of parole violated the 8th Amendment if the defendant was a minor.
The Court stated that life without possibility of parole for a minor was justified only in the case of murder.