Constitutional Law – Thematic Outline



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Constitutional Law – Thematic Outline – Malamud – Fall 2003

Constitutional Law – Thematic Outline

Prof. Malamud


deborah.malamud@nyu.edu

Table of Contents:

Constitutional Law – Thematic Outline 1

Prof. Malamud


deborah.malamud@nyu.edu 1

I. Judicial Review 7

a. Questions and Issues for Consideration 7

a. Questions and Issues for Consideration 7

1.Questions 7

2.Justifications for Judicial Review 7

3.Judicial Review and Legitimacy – Casey 7

b. Constitutional Interpretation 8

b. Constitutional Interpretation 8

i. Judicial Supremacy vs. Departmentalism 8

1.Judicial Supremacy – Marbury v. Madison (U.S. 1803) 8

2.Diffuse Jurisdiction Theories (Departmentalism) 8

3.Methods of Constitutional Interpretation 8

ii. Popular Constitutionalism 8

1.Constitutional law as a form of customary law 8

2.Judicial Supremacy 8

3.Process of Amendment 9

4.Cultural Experiences 9

5.The Case-in-Point – Dred Scott v. Sandford (U.S. 1857) 9

c. Judicial Review of Congressional Actions 9

c. Judicial Review of Congressional Actions 9

1.The Precedent for Judicial Review 9

2.Judicial Review and the Congress’ Enumerated Powers 9

3.Judicial Review in Class Legislation (Strict Scrutiny) 10

4.Judicial Review of State and Federal Legislation under the §5 Power 10

d. Judicial Review of State Actions 11

d. Judicial Review of State Actions 11

1.Federal Supremacy over State Courts 11

2.Judicial Review of the Police Power (see Substantive Due Process) 12

e. Judicial Review of Executive Actions 12

e. Judicial Review of Executive Actions 12

1.Judicial Review of Executive Actions 12

2.The Steel Seizure Case (U.S. 1952) – Strong Judicial Review 12

3.Three Categories of Presidential Authority – J. Jackson’s Concurrence 12

4.Cautionary Note 12



II. Separation of Powers 13

A. Congress 13

A. Congress 13

1.Overarching questions: 13

2.Structural Issues vs. Basic Liberties 13

3.Deference under §5 and the 11th Amendment (Garrett Dissent) 13

4.The Ratcheting-up Theory and the 14th Amendment 13

5.Level of Scrutiny and Fact-finding – Croson and Garrett 14

b. Executive Branch 14

b. Executive Branch 14

i. The Extent of Executive Powers 14

1.Necessity – The Louisiana Purchase (1803) 14

2.Presidential Authority to Decline to Execute Unconstitutional Statutes (Dellinger 1994) 14

3.Non-delegation doctrine 14

ii. Executive Powers During Times of Crisis 14

1.Determination of a “Crisis” 14

2.Presidential Power during the Civil War 15

3.3rd Amendment – Prohibition of quartering soldiers w/o consent or prescribed by law 15

4.Truman and the Korean War – The Steel Seizure Case (U.S. 1952) 15

iii. War Powers and Due Process Concerns 16

1.Writ of Habeas Corpus and Detention 16

2.Korematsu v. United States (U.S. 1944) 16

c. Judicial Branch 17

c. Judicial Branch 17

1.Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court – Marbury v. Madison (U.S. 1803) 17

2.Georgia v. Stanton (U.S. 1867) – Political Question Doctrine 17

3.Constitution Interpretation? (see Section I:B(i)) 17

III. Federalism 17

A. Federal Supremacy 17

A. Federal Supremacy 17

1.McCulloch v. Maryland (U.S. 1819) 17

2.The Alien Act of 1798 18

3.Nationalism vs. Federalism 18

b. Limits on Federal Power 18

b. Limits on Federal Power 18

1.The Doctrine of Nullification – The Sedition Act of 1798 18

2.Exclusivity of Federal Powers – Mayor of the City of New York v. Miln (U.S. 1837) 18

3.Comity b/t the States and Federal Government 19

4.14th Amendment and State Legislation – Privileges and Immunities 19

5.The New Deal and the Court 19

6.Abrogation of Immunity – §5 and the 11th Amendment 19

7.The New Federalism in the Commerce Clause 19

8.The 10th Amendment: its Revival as a Limit on Congress’ Power 20

9.Commandeering – The Printz Line of Cases 21

c. Slavery and Federalism 21

c. Slavery and Federalism 21

1.The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 21

2.Freedom of Speech, Federalism and Slavery 22

3.Prigg v. Pennsylvania (U.S. 1842) 22

4.Regulation of Slavery in the New Territories 22

d. Secession 23

d. Secession 23

1.The case against secession – Lincoln’s arguments 23

2.The case for secession 23

3.Georgia v. Stanton (U.S. 1867) 23

e. Modern Federalism – McConnell Article 23

e. Modern Federalism – McConnell Article 23

1.Modern Federalism 23

2.To Secure the Public Good 24

3.To Protect “Private Rights” 24

4.To Preserve the Spirit and Form of Popular Government 24

5.Fundamental Rights 24

6.Popular Constitutionalism? 24



IV. Constitutional Polity 24

f. Slavery in the U.S. 24

f. Slavery in the U.S. 24

1.Thurgood Marshall, Reflections on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution (1987) 24

2.Fehrenbacher, The Slave Holding Republic (2001) 25

3.Garrisonian point of view 25

4.Frederick Douglas, “The Constitution of the U.S.: Is it Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery?” (1860) 25

5.The Constitution and its pro-slavery (or anti-slavery) slant 25

6.The Antelope (U.S. 1825) – Slaves as property 25

7.Dred Scott v. Sandford (U.S. 1857) 25

g. Native American and the American Political Community 26

g. Native American and the American Political Community 26

1.Native Americans and Citizenship 26

2.Relationship b/t the Government and Native Americans 26

3.American Indians and the 14th Amendment 27

h. Women’s Citizenship 27

h. Women’s Citizenship 27

1.Antebellum Era 27

2.Women and the 14th Amendment: 27

3.19th Amendment (1920) 27

i. Other Minority Groups 28

i. Other Minority Groups 28

1.The Treatment of Asians 28

2.Manifest Destiny, Empire and the Expansion of the Polity 28

3.Religious Diversity and the Constitution 28

V. Congressional Powers 28

A. Taxing and Spending Power 28

A. Taxing and Spending Power 28

1.United States v. Butler (U.S. 1936) – The Power to Tax and Spend 28

2.Distinction b/t a Tax and a Penalty 28

3.South Dakota v. Dole (U.S. 1987) – Spending Power as a Regulatory Tool 29

4.Federalism and the Spending Power 29

b. Treaty Power 29

b. Treaty Power 29

1.Treaty Power as an Augmenter of Congress’ Powers 29

2.Treaty Power is not a Guaranteed Means of Circumventing the Constitution 30

c. Commerce Power 30

c. Commerce Power 30

i. Regulation of the Interstate Economy 30

1.Supremacy Clause 30

2.Commerce Clause 30

3.The States’ “Police Powers” as a Constraint on the National Commerce Power 30

4.Congress’ Plenary Commerce Power 30

5.Distinction b/t the Local and the National 31

6.The Development of the Effects Doctrine 32

ii. Federalism and the Commerce Clause in Civil Rights and Social Legislation 33

1.Civil Rights Act of 1964 33

2.Private Enforcement under the Commerce Clause – 11th Amendment Barrier 33

3.The Rehnquist Court and the Three Categories to the Commerce Clause 33

4.The Substantial Effects Doctrine – Lopez (1995) and Morrison (2000) 34

5.Economic vs. Non-Economic 35

d. The 10th Amendment as a Limit on Congress’ Power 36

d. The 10th Amendment as a Limit on Congress’ Power 36

1.Relationship b/t the 10th and 11th Amendments 36

2.Application of Federal Laws to the States – The Garcia Line of Cases 36

3.Commandeering – The Printz Line of Cases 37

VI. Reconstruction Amendments 39

A. 13th Amendment 39

A. 13th Amendment 39

1.The Scope of the 13th Amendment 39

2.Badges of Servitude? 39

b. 15th Amendment 39

b. 15th Amendment 39

1.Early Enforcement of Political Rights 39

2.Voting Rights in the Civil Rights Era 39

VII. 14th Amendment – Economic Liberties and Due Process 40

A. The Rise of the Substantive Due Process Regime (the Lochner Era) 40

A. The Rise of the Substantive Due Process Regime (the Lochner Era) 40

1.Contract Clause and Due Process – the Natural Law Tradition 40

2.Judicial Protection of Vested Rights 40

3.Development of the Substantive Due Process Doctrine 40

4.The Lochner Doctrine 40

5.Political and Economic Theories to the Lochner Doctrine 41

b. The Lochner Era 41

b. The Lochner Era 41

1.Public Interest Concerns of the States (Contract Clause and Due Process) 41

2.The New Deal Crisis and the Court’s Initial Reaction to Federal Legislation 42

c. The “Response” to FDR’s Threat to “Pack the Court” 42

c. The “Response” to FDR’s Threat to “Pack the Court” 42

1.“The Switch in Time that Save Nine” 42

2.Substantive Due Process 43

3.Commerce Clause 43

d. The Modern Doctrine of Economic Due Process 43

d. The Modern Doctrine of Economic Due Process 43

1.United States v. Carolene Products Co. (U.S. 1938) 43

2.Application to the States 43

3.Wiliamson v. Lee Optical Co. (U.S. 1955) – the Penultimate Case 43



VIII. 14th Amendment – Individual Liberties and Due Process 43

A. Privileges and Immunities 43

A. Privileges and Immunities 43

1.The Slaughter-House Cases (U.S. 1873) – National Citizenship 43

2.Concepts in the Slaughter-House Cases 44

3.Total Incorporation? 44

b. Substantive Due Process and Selective Incorporation 44

b. Substantive Due Process and Selective Incorporation 44

1.Incorporation of the Bill of Rights 44

2.Development of Selective Incorporation Doctrine 44

3.Race and Incorporation 45

c. Modern Substantive Due Process 45

c. Modern Substantive Due Process 45

i. What are Fundamental Rights and How Should the Court Approach Them? 45

1.Introduction to Modern Substantive Due Process 45

2.Organizational Aspects of Substantive Due Process 46

3.The Lochner Era Precedent 46

4.Griswold v. Connecticut (U.S. 1965) 47

ii. Abortion and Contraception 48

1.Roe v. Wade (U.S. 1973) 48

2.Abortion and the Equal Protection Clause 48

3.Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (U.S. 1992) 49

4.Balancing Interests 50

5.Stenberg v. Carhart (U.S. 2000) – Partial-Birth Abortion 50

6.The Abortion Funding Cases 50

7.Abortion and Public Hospital Facilities 51

iii. Gay Rights 51

1.Lawrence v. Texas (U.S. 2003) 51

2.Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (Mass. Sup. Ct. 2003) 52

3.The Future of Gay Marriage 53



IX. 14th Amendment – Congress’ Powers Under §5 54

A. State-Action Doctrine as a Limit on the 14th Amendment 54

A. State-Action Doctrine as a Limit on the 14th Amendment 54

1.The Civil Rights Cases (U.S. 1883) 54

2.Concepts in The Civil Rights Cases 54

3.State-Action and Judicial Enforcement 54

4.State-Action and §5 Powers 55

B. §5 of the 14th Amendment and Civil Rights Litigation 55

B. §5 of the 14th Amendment and Civil Rights Litigation 55

1.Commerce Power or Reconstruction Power? 55

2.Alternatives to the Commerce Clause in litigation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 55

3.Section 5 of the 14th Amendment – the Reconstruction Power 56

4.City of Boerne v. Flores (U.S. 1997) – “Congruence/Proportionality” Rationality Test 57

5.Rubenfeld’s Critique – The Anti-Anti-discrimination Agenda 57

c. 11th Amendment as a Limit on §5 of the 14th Amendment 58

c. 11th Amendment as a Limit on §5 of the 14th Amendment 58

1.The Reconstruction Power (§5), the 11th Amendment and Sovereign Immunity 58

2.§5 and Rationality Review 58

3.§5 and Intermediate Scrutiny 59

4.What explains the difference b/t Kimel and Garrett, on the one hand, and Hibbs on the other? 60

5.11th Amendment Jurisprudence 60

X. 14th Amendment – Equal Protection Clause and Civil, Political and Social Rights 60

A. Civil, Political and Social Rights in the Pre-New Deal Era 60

A. Civil, Political and Social Rights in the Pre-New Deal Era 60

1.Original Understanding of the Equal Protection Clause 60

2.Plessy v. Ferguson (U.S. 1896) – “Separate but Equal Doctrine” 61

3.Facial Neutrality and Equal Protection 61

4.Enforcement of Equal Protection 62

b. Desegregation 62

b. Desegregation 62

1.Establishing Desegregation as the Law of the Land 62

2.Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (U.S. 1954) 62

3.What is the Remedy for Segregation? 63

4.The Court’s Reaction to Resistance by the States 63

5.The Court’s Reaction to Desegregation Plans (and the Nixon Appointments to the Court) 63

c. The Suspect Classification in Equal Protection Jurisprudence 65

c. The Suspect Classification in Equal Protection Jurisprudence 65

1.The Basic Rules of Equal Protection Jurisprudence 65

2.From Due Process to Equal Protection – Rationality Review 65

3.What is a classification? – Social and Legal Constructions 65

4.Colorblind Principle vs. Anti-subordination Principle 66

5.Origins of the Suspect Classification Doctrine – Loving and Korematsu 66

6.Justifications for the Suspect Classification Doctrine 66

7.What is a “Race-Dependent” Decision? 67

8.Disparate Impact and Equal Protection 67

9.Racial profiling 69

d. Application of the Levels of Scrutiny in Equal Protection Jurisprudence 69

d. Application of the Levels of Scrutiny in Equal Protection Jurisprudence 69

i. Strict Scrutiny, Affirmative Action and Eliminating Wealth Disparities 69

10.City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson (U.S. 1989) – Affirmative Action at the Local Level 69

11.Metro Broadcasting v. FCC (U.S. 1990) 70

12.Adarand Constructors v. Pena (U.S. 1995) – Affirmative Action at the Federal Level 70

13.Affirmative Action and Anti-anti-discrimination 71

ii. Strict Scrutiny, Affirmative Action and Higher Education 71

1.Justifications for a Racial Preference Rules 71

2.Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (U.S. 1978) 71

3.Grutter v. Bollinger (U.S. 2003) 72

4.Gratz v. Bollinger (U.S. 2003) 73

5.What is diversity? 73

6.Compelling Interest and Narrow Tailoring 73

iii. Intermediate Scrutiny: Gender Discrimination 74

1.Evolution of the standard 74

2.Frontiero v. Richardson (U.S. 1973) 74

3.Craig v. Boren (U.S. 1976) 74

4.United States v. Virginia [The VMI Case] (U.S. 1996) 74

5.Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS (U.S. 2001) 75

6.Gender and Constitutional Law 75

iv. Rationality Review “w/Bite” 76

1.City of Cleburne, Texas v. Cleburne Living Center (U.S. 1985) 76

2.Romer v. Evans (U.S. 1996) 76


Guiding question: how well does the constitution respond to the needs of a changing country?

Constitution is fiercely difficult to amend; the stakes in constitutional interpretation are high!



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