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Law.cornell.edu5103 Tydings – Andrew Lugg TA officeThe Court System – Deciding to DecideIssues dealing with the Constitution deal with law v. moralityCan you sue?If I insult your mother and your dog?Yes. Libel She can sue. Not you.Where do you sue? State court? Could be brought to a federal court if you claim it’s a Constitutional right to say whatever you sayIf I hit you?Yes.Where to sue? MD District court?If I refuse to allow you in my class because of your religious beliefs?Yes, if is a public institutionWhere do you sue? US District Court – Federal principle being discussedFederal CourtsArticle III, Sec. 2 – The judicial power shall extend to … all cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority.”Equity meaning – what is fair in this case. Cases should be decided via law. But ultimately if there is no statute, the case will be considered via what is fair and equitableDiversity JurisdictionParties must be citizens of different statesAmount in dispute must exceed $75,000Congress can determine the Court’s “subject matter” jurisdictionHYPOTHETICAL – Can Congress pass a law that says the Court cannot decide any case involving abortion?What should the role of a Supreme Court in a constitutional democracy be? Shouldn’t “we the people” decide issues rather than an unelected court?District Courts – “original” jurisdiction – FINDER OF FACTS: present facts relevant of case and determines the legitimacy of factCourts of Appeals – 11 circuits plus DC and federal circuitIs the way an appellate court looks at a case the same way an original jurisdiction hears the case?No – appellate courts only make arguments about whether a court made mistakes in the legality of the case—cannot look at facts at allARE ALL CIRCUITS CREATED EQUALLY?No. If there is any question regarding statutory interpretation of government it is filed in DC and nowhere elseCircuit court for DC puts more people on the Supreme Court than any otherAlso things may be tried differently in different areasHow do you get to the Supremes?Be the United StatesWrit of Certiorari – request to the court to review a lower court decision. No guarantee that it will be heard. It takes 4 votes to hear a case, 5 votes to win a case. Creates strategic decision making for the court. You have enough to hear the case but not enough to win it. What do you do?Why do the Supremes grant cert?Conflict among circuitsUnsettled questions of lawKey QuestionsShould justices only come from the “legal academy”? (court of appeals)What should the standard be for rejecting a Supreme Court nominee?Should the Senate be able to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee?Should we have a specialized “constitutional court”?AnnouncementsPizza w/ the profWednesdays at 1 before class – Gazebo room in South Campus DinerMarbury v. Madison: Law or Politics?William Marbury – speculator from PG County. Bought bonds issued in Rev war. Great grand father was the largest land owner in PG Co. Father blew the inheritance. Federalist.Adams (Federalist) v. Jefferson (Democratic Republican) v. Burr (Democratic Republican). Jefferson and Burr tie, and Congress decides on Jefferson.Judiciary Act 1801 – Allowed Adams to appoint midnight Justices by adding extra judges to a few courts. Lame duck Congress.Marbury appointed Justice of the Peace for D.C. Highest ranking judicial official within the district. Had phenomenal power.Secretary of State John Marshall is supposed to deliver commission to Marbury. When the case is tried, Marshall is a Supreme Ct. JusticeMarbury wants his commission. Secretary of State after Marshall is Roy Lincoln. Madison was in Virginia until this case was sorted outWhat does Marbury do? Sues straight to the Supreme Court. Files a writ of mandamus (court issued writ that commands some official to do something). Trying to get SC to mandate Sec of State to deliver commission.There is a lower operational court in D.C. at the time. James Marshall is head of the court. He is John Marshall’s brother.First thing Supreme Court did was subpoena Lincoln. He’s asked where the document was, who signed it, all of this. He pled the fifth. The record tells us that what Jefferson told Lincoln was – put the papers in a desk and make them go away.Lincoln leaves. Madison comes to D.C. Case moves forward. Case was heard and decided in 1803, but this all happened in 1801. Another law was passed by Congress which eliminated all the posts the Federalists were trying to fill. It also cancelled the 1802 term of the Supreme CourtCase was heard on a day, the opinion was released two days later. Opinion was written before the case was even heard.Actual Court Case:Does Marbury have a right to a Commission?Yes. Adams signed the commission. The president’s signing of the commission constituted the appointment as well. The minute the president makes the sole voluntary act of signing the commission, he’s made that choice.Marshall is covering his ass here. He says that when its signed its valid because its he who screwed up and didn’t send it. If that’s the case, why have delivery at all? What if the president changes his mind?Does Marbury have a remedy?Yes. A right implies a remedy. If there is a right, the right wouldn’t mean anything if there weren’t a remedy to enforce that right.But—do all rights imply remedies?Is that remedy mandamus?Supreme Court doesn’t have original jurisdiction to order a the mandamus. You can’t seek a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court.Under Article III of Constitution, it doesn’t give Supreme Court original jurisdiction it gives it appellate jurisdictionArticle III, Section 2, Paragraph 1The judicial power shall extend to all cases in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority.Is this case about fairness or legality?!!!, 2, Paragraph 2In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases before mentioned, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction.What if the case is not mentioned “in all other cases?” is that term expandable or?What about “public ministers and consuls?” Is Marbury a public minister?Judiciary act of 1789, Sec.


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UMD GVPT 431 - The Court System – Deciding to Decide

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