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NOTES 1/25/2018 – Con Law I – Marbury (2), Martin (17), Cohens (19)

HERE ARE SOME “TAKEAWAYS” FROM THE OPENING CLASSES. I OFFER THEM AS A STARTING POINT FOR
DISTILLING BASIC TENETS DISCUSSED SO FAR --

Hallmarks of Article III Courts

1. Art. III Judges hold office during good behavior


2. The compensation of Article III judges shall not be diminished while in office
3. Article III Judges may be removed by Impeachment
4. Article III courts are courts of limited jurisdiction – See Art. III §2
5. As a court of limited jurisdiction, an Article III court polices its own jurisdiction and must do
so even if no party objects to the exercise of jurisdiction
6. The jurisdiction of Article III courts is limited to “cases” and “controversies” – this subject is
discussed during the next set of classes
7. Except in a narrow set of circumstances involving Habeas Corpus proceedings, an Article III
court lacks jurisdiction absent a statue so conferring it. In other words, as a general matter
jurisdiction cannot be based solely on the constitution
8. Article III courts are dependent on the executive to enforce its orders. A failure of the
executive branch to comply with an order or to enforce an order constitutes a breach of the
constitutional order

The Supreme Court

1. The constitution requires the establishment of one Supreme Court. It does not specify how
many members the court shall have. It does not mandate any particular voting requirement
in order for a ruling to be valid
2. Congress has discretion to establish “inferior” Article III courts
3. The constitution vests in the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in three classes of cases:
Ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, when a State is a party
4. In all other cases the Supreme Court shall exercise appellate jurisdiction as congress grants
5. Although a state is a party the Supreme Court may exercise appellate jurisdiction in cases in
which a state is a party provided the case present s a “federal question” (see Cohens)

Judicial Review

1. Article III courts have the authority to declare null and void acts of congress inconsistent
with the U.S. Constitution
2. Article III courts may declare Executive branch conduct inconsistent with the constitution
unconstitutional

The Supreme Court and the States

1. The Supreme Court may review state court judgments authorized by congress that fall
within the parameters of Article III §2.