Friday, November 20, 2009

Outline: Constitutional Law I - Government - V - State Power

Constitutional Law I - Government (Spring 2006, Burcham)


  1. State Immunity (Limitation on federal power over states) – Requirements to challenge federal legislation:
    1. Commandeering - Challenged statute regulates “states as states”. [New York v. U.S. – Provision forcing state to take title to and possession of low level radioactive waste if it is tardy in implementing national scheme is unconstitutional for commandeering state government; federal government may not compel States to enact or administer federal regulatory program]
    2. Regulation addresses matters of state sovereignty. [Printz v. U.S. - Brady Act violates Constitution in commanding state and local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks on prospective handgun purchasers]
    3. State compliance would directly impair states’ “traditional governmental functions”. [Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority – Minimum wage statute does not apply where railroad operator is a political subdivision of a state]
  2. Dormant Commerce Clause (Limitation on state powers)
    1. Is there a legitimate purpose?
      1. A purely economic means to a distant but legitimate purpose is economic protectionism and is per se unconstitutional. [Baldwin v. G.A.F. Seelig, Inc.]
      2. Buck v. Kuykendall – State may not require common carriers using state highways to obtain certificates based on existence of adequate facilities; contra
      3. Bradley v. Public Utilities Commission – State may deny certificate for operating on specific routes due to severe congestion causing accidents.
      4. Hannibal & St. Joseph R. Co. v. Husen – State may pass quarantine laws to protect itself, but only to the degree absolutely necessary.
      5. Hughes v. Oklahoma – Conservation is legitimate, but must not discriminate.
    2. Is there a rational relationship between legislation and purpose? [Southern Pacific Co. v. Arizona – Number of cars in trains not rationally related to safety]
    3. Balance benefits to and burdens on national, interstate commerce. Note: Non-deferential to legislature. [Southern Pacific Co. v. Arizona – Limits on numbers of cars in trains adversely affected interstate commercial demands for efficiency and economy; Bibb v. Navajo Freight Lines, Inc. – State mudguard specifications pose too much inconvenience on interstate commerce; Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc. – Court suspicious of state statutes requiring business operations to be performed in home state that could be more efficiently performed elsewhere]
      1. If purpose is safety, no balancing test unless justifications are illusory. [Kassel v. Consolidated Freightways Corporation (less deference due where local regulation bears disproportionately on out-of-state residents and businesses); contra South Carolina State Highway Department v. Barnwell Brothers (in absence of Congressional regulation of truck width and weight, judiciary will not second-guess state legislature’s numbers)]
      2. Least burdensome alternative. [Kassel v. Consolidated Freightways Corporation – Where alternatives (doubles and semis) are roughly equal in effect, choose least burdensome one]
    4. Is it the least discriminative alternative available? [Dean Milk Co. v. City of Madison, Wis. – Where reasonable, nondiscriminatory, and adequate measure exists, state may not impose discriminatory burden]
      1. West Lynn Creamery v. Healy – Non-discriminatory tax with rebates only to locals is unconstitutional.
      2. C & A Carbone v. Town of Clarkstown – Ordinance which limits waste processing to in-town operator is no less discriminatory for restricting other in-state processors as well as out-of-state processors.
      3. Philadelphia v. New Jersey – Law blocking importation of out-of-state waste in effort to saddle those outside state with entire burden of slowing flow of refuse to home state’s remaining sites is impermissible.
      4. Sporhase v. Nebraska – Prohibition of shipping water out of state without license, where goal is conservation of water, and in-state residents also burdened, is permissible.
      5. Market Participation – If state participates in market, it may discriminate as a private interest, except in civil rights areas.
        1. Reeves, Inc. v. Stake – State may restrict sales of state-owned cement plant to in-state companies.
        2. White v. Massachusetts Council of Construction Employers, Inc. – City may require general contractors to hire 50% employees and subcontractors, because “market” can be narrowly defined by expert testimony as “those who work for city”.
        3. South-Central Timber Development v. Wunnicke – State involved in timber market may not regulate timber processors, which market is not narrowly defined. Note: State may regulate timber processors if it owns processing plate.
  3. Privileges and Immunities Clause (Limitation on state powers) – Article IV § 2; individuals only; applies to municipalities [Camden – In-state residents at least have chance to repeal state laws allowing for discriminatory municipal ordinances]
    1. Fundamental Right [Corfield v. Coryell]
      1. Rights covered
        1. right “of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for the purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise”
        2. right “to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or personal; and an exemption from higher taxes or impositions than are paid by the other citizens of the State.”
      2. Interest is fundamental to formation of Union [Supreme Court of Virginia v. Friedman – Practice of law is fundamental to formation of Union]
    2. Substantial Reason for Discrimination – Non-resident is “peculiar source of evil”
    3. Narrowly Tailored Means
  4. Supremacy Clause – Preemption (Limitation on state powers) [Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp.] Note: This is strong medicine, so there is a “presumption of non-preemption”.
    1. Express – Federal law explicitly declares preemption.
    2. Implied
      1. Field - Federal regulation so pervasive as to make reasonable inference no room left for States
      2. Conflict [Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association – Dual impact state regulation which frustrates full effect of federal law cannot avoid preemption just because it serves several objectives rather than one]
        1. Impossibility – Federal and state schemes yield inconsistent results
        2. Purpose - Federal and state schemes aim for same purpose

No comments: