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Federal Judicial Power
- Defined by Article III of the Constitution: Requires SCOTUS only actual consider cases and controversies.
- Cases must be justiciable; no advisory opinions.
- 1) Standing
- 2) Ripeness
- 3) Mootness
- 4) No political questions
Standing is the issue of whether the plaintiff is the proper party to bring suit.
- 4 Requirements:
- 1) Injury. P must allege/prove that he has been injured or imminently will be injured; mere ideological objection is insufficient; must be injuries personally suffered. Plaintiffs seeking injunctive or declaratory relief must show a likelihood of future harm.
- 2) Causation & Redressability. P must show that D caused the injury so that a favorable decision is will remedy the harm. If it would have no effect, it is an advisory opinion, and thus barred.
- 3) No Third Party Standing. P can't asset others claim. Exceptions: (1) close relationship b/t P And the injured third party so P can adequately represent the injured party; (2) where injured party is unlikely to be able to assert his or her own rights, i.e. jurors; (3) an organization can sue for its members if (a) members would have standing; (b) interests are germane to the organization's purpose; and (c) neither the claim nor relief requires participation of the members.
- 4) No Generalized Grievances. P can't sue solely as a citizen or a taxpayer. Exception: taxpayers have standing to challenge government expenditures pursuant to fed. statutes as violating the Establishment Clause (First Amendment)
Whether of whether a federal court may grant pre-enforcement review of a statute or regulation.
- This is the most likely place you will see a question about declaratory judgments.
- 2 Criteria:
- 1) the hardship that will be suffered w/o pre-enforcement review;
- 2) the fitness of the issues & the record for judicial review.
If events after the filing of the lawsuit have ended P's injury, the case must be dismissed as moot b/c P must present a live controversy, though non-frivolous monetary damages claims will keep the case alive.
Exception 1: the wrong is capable of repetition but evades review b/c of its inherently limited time duration, i.e. abortion.
Exception 2: voluntary cessation by D who can easily start again
Exception 3: class action suits, as long as one person's claim remains unresolved
Political Question Doctrine
Federal courts will not adjudicate political questions
- Four kinds of non-justiciable political questions:
- 1) US shall guarantee each state a republican form of government (Article IV, Sec 4) (Guarantee Clause
- 2) Challenges to the President's conduct of foreign policy;
- 3) Challenges to the impeachment & removal process;
- 4) challenges to partisan gerrymandering
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