Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

Internet Resources

Resource URL
WCU Home Page www.rcdu.org
Exam Submission Email Address www.rcdulawschool.org
Exams Listed at the end of the syllabus infra.

Objectives:

The objective of this course is to familiarize the student with the principles of our United States Constitution, and how it factors into both civil and criminal litigation. Special emphasis will be on the Bill of Rights.

Requirements:

  • Text - Complete textbook reading assignments
  • Roadmap Outline - Complete outline reading assignments and lessons
  • Gilbert Law Summaries - Complete reading assignments
  • Briefed Cases - Complete cases assigned and submit by email
  • Audio - Listen to audio lectures
  • Study Record - Return monthly study record by mail
  • On-Line Questions - Take on-line testing to prove competency

Evaluation:

  • Faculty assessment of midterm examination. Answer 25 multiple-choice questions on-line and submit 2 essay questions for grading. Resubmitting essays can raise midterm grades. Essays will be graded and returned in 7-10 working days depending on each professor’s schedule.
  • Faculty assessment of final examination. Answer 50 multiple-choice questions on-line and submit 4 essays questions for grading. Essays will be graded and returned in 7-10 working days depending on each professor’s schedule. Forty percent (40%) of final grade will be determined by number and quality of briefs submitted with monthly reports.

Required Materials:

Text:
Constitutional Law; 3rd Edition; Louis Michael Seidman, Professor, Cass R. Sunstein, Professor; Geoffrey R. Stone, Professor and Mark V. Tushnet, Professor; Published March 8, 1996 Aspen Publishers, Inc., ISBN: 0316817910

Roadmap Outline:
Constitutional Law: Aspen Road Map Law Course Outline; Calvin R. Massey, Professor; Published July 10, 1997 Aspen Publishers, Inc., ISBN: 156706535X

Law Summary:
Gilbert Law Summaries: Constitutional Law; 28th Edition; Published Harcourt Brace, ISBN: 0159004845

Audio:
Law School Legends: Constitutional Law; Professor John C. Jeffries, Jr., ISBN: 0159003229

 

CON LAW 201 & 202 COURSE SCHEDULE


 

Week #1-2

Material Subject
Text  Read Chapter 1
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 1 and study chapter Q&A 
Audio Listen to all (no notes) 
Law Summary Read Chapter 1, Judicial Power 

 

Week #3-4

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 2 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 2 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 12 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #1-12 
Audio Listen to all (take notes on 5 x 7 cards) 

 

End of Week #4

Study Record Study Record Due

 

Week #5-6

Material Subject
Text Re-read Chapter 1 & 2
Roadmap Outline Re-read Chapter 1 & 2 
Brief 14 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #13-26

 

Week #7-8

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 3 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 3 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 14 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #27-40 

 

End of Week #8

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 1, 2 & 3 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #9-10

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 6 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 6 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 13 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #41-54 

 

Week #11-12

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 4 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 4 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 14 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #55-68 

 

End of Week #12

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 4 & 6 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #13-14

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 7  
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 7 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 15 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #69-83 

 

Week #15-16

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 5
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 5 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 16 Cases Refer to List of Cases to Brief. Complete #84-99 

 

1st TRIMESTER COMPLETED

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 5 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #17-18

Material Subject
Text Re-read Chapter 7 
Roadmap Outline Re-read Chapter 7 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 6 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #100-105 

 

Week #19-20

Material Subject
Brief 6 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #106 - 111 

 

End of Week #20

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 7 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #21-22

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 10 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 10 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 12 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #112-123 

 

Week #23-24

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 8 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 8 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 10 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #124-133 

 

End of Week #24

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapters 8 & 10 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #25-26

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 9 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 9 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 12 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #134-145 

 

Week #27-28

Material Subject
Brief 13 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #146-158 

 

End of Week #28

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 9 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #29-30

Material Subject
Text Read Chapter 11 
Roadmap Outline Read Chapter 11 and study chapter Q&A 
Brief 12 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #159-170 

 

Week #31-32

Material Subject
Brief 13 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #171-183 

 

2nd TRIMESTER COMPLETED

Study Record Study Record Due - Include Roadmap Assignment from Chapter 11 - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #33-34

Material Subject
Text Review as necessary 
Roadmap Outline Review as necessary 
Brief 13 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #184-196 

 

Week #35-36

Material Subject
Text Review as necessary 
Roadmap Outline Review as necessary 
Brief 10 Cases Refer to List Cases to Brief. Complete #197-206 

 

End of Week #36

Study Record Study Record Due - Briefed cases due.

 

Week #37-38

Material Subject
Briefed Cases Handwrite 5 X 7 note cards with synopsis of all briefed cases and prepare for Mid-term exam. 

 

Week #39-40

Material Subject
Text Handwrite 5 X 7 note cards with synopsis of all briefed cases and prepare for Mid-term exam. 

 

End of Week #40

Study Record Study Record Due - Briefed cases due.

 

MIDTERM EXAMINATION
Answer and submit the Midterm Examination Questions listed infra.

 

Week #41-42

Material Subject
Review Review reading assignments and briefed cases for Weeks #1 - #12 

 

Week #43-44

Material Subject
Review Review reading assignments and briefed cases for Weeks #13 - #24 

 

End of Week #44

Study Record Study Record Due

 

Week #45-46

Material Subject
Review Review reading assignments and briefed cases for Weeks #25 - #36 

 

Week #47-48

Material Subject
All Review Material for Final Exam 

 

End of Week #48

Study Record Study Record Due

 

FINAL EXAMINATION
Answer and submit the Final Examination Questions listed infra.

3rd TRIMESTER COMPLETED

 

CASES TO BRIEF

List of Cases to Brief
 Judicial Power
1. Abbott Laboratories-v-Gardner
2. Baker-v-Carr
3. Bennett-v-Spear
4. Calder-v-Bull
5. Camps Newfound/Owatonna-v-Town of Harris
6. Commodity Futures-v-Cooper
7. Cooper-v-Aaron
8. Corfield-v-Coryell
9. DeFunis-v-Odegaard
10. Edelman-v-Jordan
11. Fitzpatrick-v-Bitzer
12. Flast-v-Cohen
13. Frothingham-v-Mellon
14. Havens Realty Corp-v-Coleman
15. Idaho-v-Ceur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho
16. Lujan-v-Defenders of Wildlife
17. Marbury-v-Madison
18. Martin-v-Hunter
19. Muskrat-v-US
20. Pennhurst State School & Hosp-v-Halderman
21. Pennsylvania-v-Union Gas
22. Seminole Tribe of Florida-v-Florida
23. Singleton-v-Wulff
24. UPW-v-Mitchell
25. Valley Forge Christ. College-v-Amer. United for Separation of Church & State
26. Warth-v-Selden

 

Slaughter House Cases
27. Adamson-v-CA
28. Allied Structural Steel-v-Stannaus
29. Baldwin-v-Fish & Game Commission of Montana
30. Barron-v-Mayor & City Council of Baltimore
31. Bowers-v-Hardwick
32. Cruzan-v-Director Missouri Department of Health
33. Dartmouth College-v-Woodward
34. Dolan-v-Tigard
35. Exxon Corporation-v-Eagerton
36. Griswold-v-CT
37. Hawaii Housing Authority-v-Midkiff
38. Lochner-v-NY
39. Lucas-v-South Carolina Coastal Council
40. McCulloch-v-Maryland
41. Meyer-v-NE
42. Michael H.-v-Gerald D.
43. Moore-v-City of Cleveland
44. Nebbia-v-NY
45. Olsen-v-NE
46. Palko-v-CT
47. Planned Parenthood-v-Danforth
48. Roe-v-Wade
49. Saenz-v-Roe
50. US Trust-v-NJ
51. US-v-Carolene
52. Washington-v-Davis
53. West Coast Hotel-v-Parrish
54. Whalen-v-Roe

 

Distribution of National Powers
55. A.L.A. Schechter Poultry-v-US
56. Clinton-v-Joners
57. Dames & Moore-v-Regan
58. INS-v-Chadha
59. Mistretta-v-US
60. Morrison-v-Olson
61. Nixon-v-US
62. Yakus-v-US
63. Youngstown Sheet & Tube-v-Sawyer

 

Power to Regulate
64. Baldwin-v-F&G
65. Baldwin-v-Missouri
66. Carter-v-Carter Coal Company
67. Cooley-v-Board of Wardens
68. Dean Milk-v-Madison, Wisconsin
69. Garcia-v-San Antonia Metro Transit Authority
70. Gibbons-v-Ogden
71. Gibbond-v-Ogden
72. Hammer-v-Dagenhart
73. Heart of Atlanta Motel-v-US
74. Hicklin-v-Orbeck
75. Hotel-v-Virginia Surface Mining
76. Houston East & West Texas Railway-v-US
77. HP Hood & Sons-v-DuMond
78. Katztenbach-v-McClung
79. NLC-v-Usery
80. NLRB-v-Jones
81. Perez-v-US
82. PG & E-v-State Energy Resources Commissioner
83. Philadelphia-v-NJ
84. Pike-v-Bruce Church
85. Printz-v-US
86. Reeves-v-Stake
87. SC-v-Barnwell Brothers
88. South Central Timber-v-Wunnicke
89. Southern Pacific-v-Arizona
90. US-v-Lopez
91. US-v-Darby
92. Wickard-v-Philburn

 

Equality
93. Bylaw-v-US
94. City of Cleburne-v-Cleburne Living Center
95. Dred Scott-v-Sanford
96. Mass-v-Murgia
97. Prigg-v-Pennsylvania
98. Railway Express-v-NY
99. Strauder-v-West Virginia

 

Civil Rights
100. Adarand Constructors-v-Pena
101. Batson-v-Kentucky
102. Bolling-v-Sharpe
103. Brown-v-Board of Edication
104. City of Richmond-v-J.A. Croson
105. Craig-v-Boren
106. Freeman-v-Pitts
107. Frontiero-v-Richardson
108. Furman-v-Georgia
109. Geduldig-v-Aiello
110. Goesart-v-Cleary
111. Gregg-v-Georgia
112. Korematsu-v-US
113. Loving-v-Virginia
114. McCleskey-v-Kemp
115. Memphis-v-Greene
116. Michael M-v-Superior Court Sonoma County
117. Miller-v-California
118. Missouri-v-Jenkins
119. Plessy-v-Ferguson
120. Reynolds-v-US
121. Roberts-v-City of Boston
122. Romer-v-Evans
123. Rostker-v-Goldberg
124. San Antonia School District-v-Rodriquez
125. Shaw-v-Reno
126. US-v-Fordice
127. US-v-Virginia
128. Vacco-v-Quill
129. Washington-v-Davis

 

Procedural Due Process
130. Arnett-v-Kennedy
131. Board of Regents-v-Roth
132. Matthews-v-Eldridge
133. Perry-v-Sindermann

 

1st Amendment
134. 1st national Bank-v-Belloti
135. Abrams-v-US
136. Adderley-v-Florida
137. Agostini-v-Felton
138. Allegheny-v-ACLU
139. American Booksellers-v-Hudnut
140. Austin-v-Michigan Chamber of Commerce
141. Barnes-v-Glen Theater
142. Boerne-v-Flores
143. Brandenburg-v-Ohio
144. Buckley-v-Valleo
145. Chandler-v-Florida
146. Chaplinsky-v-New Hampshire
147. Clark-v-Commission for Creative Non-Violence
148. Cohen-v-California
149. Davis-v-Massachusetts
150. Edwards-v-Aguillard
151. Epperson-v-Arkansas
152. Everson-v-Board of Education
153. FCC-v-Pacifica
154. Frisby-v-Schultz
155. Gertz-v-Robert Welch
156. Globe Newspaper-v-Superior Court
157. Gooding-v-Wilson
158. Hazelwood School District-v-Kuhlmeier
159. Herndon-v-Lowrey
160. Hobbie-v-Unemployment Appeals Commission
161. Jews for Jesus-v-Helms
162. Krishna-v-Lee
163. Lee-v-Weisman
164. Lyng-v-NW Indian Cemetery Protection Association
165. Madsen-v-Women's Health Center
166. Miller-v-California
167. NAACP-v-Alabama
168. Near-v-Minnesota
169. NY Times-v-US
170. NY Times-v-Sullivan
171. Paris Adult Theater-v-Slaton
172. Press Enterprise-v-Supreme Court
173. Rankin-v-McPherson
174. RAV-v-St Paul
175. Reno-v-ACLU
176. Roberts-v-US
177. Roth-v-US
178. Rubin-v-Coors Brewery
179. Rust-v-Sullivan
180. Sable Communications of California-v-FCC
181. Schenck-v-US
182. Shuttlesworth-v-City of Birmingham
183. Stanley-v-Georgia
184. Texas-v-Johnson
185. Thomas-v-Review Board of Indiana Employment
186. Turner Broadcasting Systen-v-FCC
187. US-v-O'Brien
188. US-v-Seeger
189. United Artists-v-Board of Censors of City of Memphis
190. Virginia Pharmacy-v-Virginia Consumers
191. Wallace-v-Jaffree
192. Ward-v-Rock Against Racism
193. Welch-v-US
194. Whitney-v-California
195. Wisconsin-v-Yoder
196. Zobrest-v-Catalina Foothills District

 

State Action Civil Rights
197. American Manufacturing-v-Sullivan
198. Burton-v-Wilmington Parking Authority
199. Flagg Brothers-v-Brooks
200. Jackson-v-Metropolitan Edison Company
201. Marsh-v-Alabama
202. Moose Lodge-v-Irvis
203. Oregon-v-Smith
204. Rendell-Baker-v-Kohn
205. Shelley-v-Kraemer
206. Terry-v-Adams

 


 

MIDTERM EXAMINATION ESSAY QUESTION

Essay Examination Instructions
Your answer should demonstrate your ability to analyze the facts in the question, to tell the difference between material facts and immaterial facts, and to discern the points of law and fact upon which the case turns. Your answer should show that you know and understand the pertinent principles and theories of law, their qualifications and limitations, and their relationships to each other.

Your answer should evidence your ability to apply the law to the given facts and to reason in a logical, lawyer-like manner from the premises you adopt to a sound conclusion. Do not merely show that you remember legal principles. Instead, try to demonstrate your proficiency in using and applying them.

If your answer contains only a statement of your conclusions, you will receive little credit. State fully the reasons that support your conclusions, and discuss all points thoroughly.

Your answer should be complete, but you should not volunteer information or discuss legal doctrines that are not pertinent to the solution of the problem.

Unless a question expressly asks you to use California law, you should answer according to legal theories and principles of general application.  

 

Constitutional Law Question 1

State law makes it a felony to either promote a dogfight or knowingly attend a dogfight where admission is charged. Ruth, a reporter for the Dispatch, City’s only newspaper, observed a staged dogfight by posing as a patron and paying the admission fee. She took over 30 photographs of the event with a concealed camera. Later, she wrote an article about the event in the Dispatch that did not identify anyone else present, but which was accompanied by one of her photographs showing two dogs in bloody mortal combat.

The City police then asked Ruth if she knew the names of any persons at the illegal dogfight and requested all of her unpublished photographs in order to try to identify the fight promoters and attendees. With the backing of the Dispatch, Ruth flatly refused the police requests.

When Ruth’s refusal came to the attention of the city council, several council members stated publicly that the Dispatch was guilty of “bad citizenship.” The council then unanimously enacted an ordinance banning all coin-operated news racks from City’s public sidewalks and any other public property in order to “improve public safety.” The ordinance left unaffected those other news racks on public property, far fewer in number, that dispensed several kinds of free publications (commercial, political, religious, etc.).

The state prosecutor in City commenced a grand jury investigation of illegal dog fighting in City. The grand jury subpoenaed Ruth to testify and answer questions about the dogfight she had attended and to produce all her unpublished photos of the event. Ruth brought an appropriate action in state court seeking an order quashing the grand jury subpoena.

The Dispatch sells about half of its daily editions from coin-operated news racks located on City’s sidewalks. The Dispatch commenced an action against the city council in the local federal district court, seeking a declaration that the ordinance banning coin-operated news racks violates rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

  1. What arguments based on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution could Ruth reasonably make in support of her action for an order quashing the grand jury subpoena, and how should the court rule on each? Discuss.
  2. What arguments could the Dispatch reasonably make in support of its claim that the city ordinance violates rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, and how should the court rule on each? Discuss.

 


 

FINAL EXAMINATION ESSAY QUESTIONS

 

Constitutional Law Question 1

To prepare herself for a spiritual calling to serve as a pastor at City's jail, Ada enrolled in a nondenominational bible school. After graduating, Ada advised the pastor of her own church that she was ready to commence a ministry and asked that her church ordain her. While sympathetic to her ambition, Ada's pastor accurately advised her that their church did not ordain women.

Ada began going to City's jail during visiting hours and developed an effective ministry with prisoners, particularly women inmates who increasingly sought her counsel. Ada noticed that ordained ministers who visited the jail received special privileges denied to her.

Dan, the jail supervisor, told Ada that ministers who were ordained and endorsed by a recognized religious group were designated "jail chaplains" and, as such, were permitted access to the jail during no visiting hours. He told Ada that she too could be designated a jail chaplain if she obtained a letter from a recognized religious group stating that it had ordained her as a minister and had endorsed her for such work.

Ada replied that her church was not part of any recognized religious group and would not ordain her anyway because she was a woman. She asked Dan nonetheless to designate her a jail chaplain because of the effectiveness of her work.

Dan refused to designate Ada a jail chaplain or to allow her the access enjoyed by jail chaplains. He acted pursuant to jail regulations adopted to avoid security risks and staff involvement in making determinations as to who was really a "minister."

Ada has brought suit in federal court to obtain an injunction requiring that she be designated a jail chaplain or be granted access to City's jail equivalent to those who have been designated jail chaplains. Ada's complaint is based on the grounds that the refusal to designate her a jail chaplain violates rights guaranteed to her and the prisoners by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and also violates rights guaranteed to her by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  1. How should Ada's suit be decided? Discuss.

 

Constitutional Law Question 2

Information gained from a constitutionally proper wiretap gave law enforcement agents a reasonable suspicion that Deft was a cash courier in a money-laundering scheme associated with distribution of narcotics. To obtain probable cause to arrest Deft and to build their case against other participants, the agents placed Deft under surveillance. They saw her drive into an office park complex and legally park the car. She left a male companion in the car and walked into the complex carrying a soft cloth briefcase. As she walked, Deft engaged in evasive actions the agents recognized as moves designed either to reveal or lose any potential surveillance.

Deft walked into a building where the agents lost sight of her for a few moments. When she emerged and approached the car, it became apparent to the agents that she was aware of the surveillance. The agents approached Deft and asked her questions about the money laundering scheme. During this conversation, agent Able seized and squeezed the briefcase held by Deft. When he felt a lump he could not identify. Able reached into the briefcase and felt a heavily taped bound object about three inches in diameter that he removed from the briefcase. Able will testify that he has seen such objects in the past, and they frequently contained drugs. Able cut the package open and discovered a substance that a field test indicated was cocaine. He arrested Deft.

Without Miranda advice and waivers, Able asked Deft if she owned an automobile. She replied that she did and pointed to the car the agents had seen her park. She refused Abie's request that she consent to a search of the car. The agents nonetheless searched the car, finding a loaded handgun concealed under the dashboard.

Deft is awaiting trial on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and unlawful possession of a handgun.  

On what ground or grounds under the United States Constitution might Deft move to suppress:

  1. The narcotics? Discuss.
  2. Deft's statement that she owned the car? Discuss.
  3. The handgun? Discuss.

 


 

2nd Year Multi-State Method MBE

Multiple Choice Questions Midterm & Final

Constitutional Law

Midterm:  #1 - 15
Final:  #16 - 48

 

Question 1

A newly enacted state criminal statute provides, in its entirety, "No person shall utter to another person in a public place any annoying, disturbing or unwelcome language." Smith followed an elderly woman for three blocks down a public street, yelling in her ear offensive four-letter words. The woman repeatedly asked Smith to leave her alone, but he refused.

In the subsequent prosecution of Smith, the first under this statute, Smith:

  1. can be convicted.
  2. cannot be convicted, because speech of the sort described here may not be punished by the state because of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
  3. cannot be convicted, because though his speech here may be punished by the state, the state may not do so under this statute.
  4. cannot be convicted, because the average user of a public street would think his speech/action was amusing and ridiculous rather than "annoying", etc.

 

Question 2

Congressional legislation authorizing marriages and divorces as a matter of federal law on prescribed terms and conditions could most easily be upheld if it:

  1. applied only to marriages and divorces in which at least one of the parties is a member of the armed forces.
  2. applied only to marriages performed by federal judges and to divorces granted by federal courts.
  3. implemented an executive agreement sacking to define basic human rights.
  4. applied only to marriages and divorces in the District of Columbia.

 

Question 3

Assume for the purposes of this question that you are counsel to the state legislative committee that is responsible for the real estate laws in your state. The committee wants you to draft legislation to make all restrictions on land use imposed by deeds ("now or hereafter recorded) unenforceable in the future so that public land-use planning through zoning will have exclusive control in matters of land use.

Which of the following is LEAST likely to be a consideration in the drafting of such legislation?

  1. Compensation for property rights taken by public authority.
  2. Impairment of contract.
  3. Sovereign immunity.
  4. Police power.

 

 Questions 4-6 are based on the following fact situation

Congress provides by statute that any state that fails to prohibit automobile speeds over 55 miles per hour on highways within the state shall be denied all federal highway construction funding. The state of Atlantic, one of the richest and most highway-oriented states in the country, refuses to enact such a statute.

 

Question 4

Which of the following potential plaintiffs is most likely to be able to obtain a judicial determination of the validity of this federal statute?

  1. A taxpayer of the United States and the state of Atlantic who wants his state to get its fair share of federal tax monies for highways, and fears that, if it does not, his state taxes will be increased to pay for the highway construction in the state of Atlantic that federal funds would have financed.
  2. Contractors who have been awarded contracts by the state of Atlantic for specified highway construction projects, which contracts are contingent on payment to the state of the federal highway construction funds to which it would otherwise be entitled.
  3. An automobile owner who lives in the state of Atlantic and regularly uses its highway system.
  4. An organization dedicated to keeping the federal government within the powers granted it by the Constitution.

 

Question 5

The strongest argument that can be made in support of the constitutionality of this federal statute is that

  1. the states ceded their authority over highways to the national government when the states accepted federal grants to help finance their highways.
  2. the federal government can regulate the use of state highways without limitation because the federal government paid for some of their construction costs.
  3. Congress could reasonably believe that the 55 mile-an-hour speed limits will assure that the federal money spent on highways results in greater benefit than harm to the public.
  4. a recent public opinion survey demonstrates that 90 percent of the people in this country support a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit.

 

Question 6

The federal statute relating to disbursement of highway funds conditions on the 55 mile-an-hour speed limit is probably

  1. unconstitutional.
  2. constitutional only on the basis of the spending power.
  3. constitutional only on the basis of the commerce power.
  4. constitutional on the basis of both the spending power and the commerce power.

 

Questions 7-8 are based on the following fact situation

A recently enacted state law forbids aliens from owning more than 100 acres of land within the state and directs the state attorney general to bring an action of ejectment whenever an alien owns such land.

Zane, a resident alien, located and purchased 200 acres of land in the state after passage of that law. He brings an action in federal court to enjoin the state attorney general from enforcing the statute against him. The defendant moves to dismiss the complaint.

 

Question 7

The strongest argument for Zane is that

  1. states are forbidden by the commerce clause from interfering with the rights of aliens to own land.
  2. the state statute violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  3. the state statute adversely affects Zane's right to travel.
  4. the state statute violates the obligation of contracts clause.

 

Question 8

The federal court should

  1. dismiss the action, because under the Constitution aliens may not sue in federal court.
  2. dismiss the action, because a state has unlimited power to determine the qualifications for landholding within its boundaries.
  3. hear the action, because the United Nations Charter forbids such discrimination.
  4. hear the action, because a federal question is presented.

 

Question 9

The city of Newton adopted an ordinance providing that street demonstrations involving more than 15 persons may not be held in commercial areas during "rush" hours. "Exceptions" may be made to the prohibition "upon 24-hour advance application to an approval by the police department." The ordinance also imposes sanctions on any person "who shall, without provocation, use to or of another, and in his presence, opprobrious words or abusive language tending to cause a breach of the peace." The ordinance has not yet had either judicial or administrative interpretation.

Which of the following is the strongest argument for the unconstitutionality of both parts of the ordinance on their face?

  1. No type of prior restraint may be imposed on speech in public places.
  2. Laws regulating, by their terms, expressive conduct or speech may not be overbroad or unduly vague.
  3. The determination as to whether public gatherings may be lawfully held cannot be vested in the police.
  4. The right of association in public places without interference is assured by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

 

Question 10

Leonard was the high priest of a small cult of Satan worshippers living in New Arcadia. As a part of the practice of their religious beliefs, s cat was required to be sacrificed to the glory of Satan after a live dissection of the animal in which it endured frightful pain. In the course of such religious sacrifice, Leonard was arrested on the complaint of the local Humane Society and charged under a statute punishing cruelty to animals.

On appeal, a conviction of Leonard probably will be

  1. sustained on the grounds that belief in or worship of Satan does not enjoy constitutional protection.
  2. sustained on the grounds that sincere religious belief is not an adequate defense on these facts.
  3. overturned on the grounds that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and its expression was violated.
  4. overturned on the grounds that the beliefs of the cult members in the need for the sacrifice might be reasonable, and their act was religious.

 

Question 11

An appropriations act passed by Congress over the President's veto directs that one billion dollars "shall be spent" by the federal government for the development of a new military weapons system, which is available only from the Arms Corporation. On the order of the President, the Secretary of Defense refuses to authorize a contract for the purchase of the weapons system. The Arms Corporation sues the Secretary of Defense alleging an unlawful withholding of these federal funds.

The strongest constitutional argument for the Arms Corporation is that

  1. passage of an appropriation over a veto makes the spending mandatory.
  2. Congress' power to appropriate funds includes the power to require that the funds will be spent as directed.
  3. the President's independent constitutional powers do not specifically refer to spending.
  4. the President's power to withhold such funds is limited to cases where foreign affairs are directly involved.

 

Questions 12-13 are based on the following fact situation

The State of Missoula has enacted a new election code designed to increase voter responsibility in the exercise of the franchise and to enlarge citizen participation in the electoral process. None of its provisions conflicts with federal statutes.

 

Question 12

Which of the following is the strongest reason for finding unconstitutional a requirement in the Missoula election code that each voter must be literate in English?

  1. The requirement violates Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which provides that representatives to Congress be chosen "by the People of the several States."
  2. The requirement violates Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to "make or alter" state regulations providing for the "Times" and "Manner" of holding elections for senators and representatives.
  3. The requirement violates the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  4. The requirement violates the equal protection of the laws clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

Question 13

The Missoula election code provides that in a special-purpose election for directors of a state watershed improvement district, the franchise is limited to landowners within the district, because they are the only ones directly affected by the outcome. Each vote is weighted according to the proportion of the holding of that individual in relation to the total affected property.

The best argument in support of the statute and against the application of the "one man, one vote" principle in this situation is that the principle

  1. applies only to elections of individuals to statewide public office.
  2. does not apply where property rights are involved.
  3. does not apply, because the actions of such a district principally affect landowners.
  4. does not apply because of rights reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment.

 

Questions 14-16 are based on the following fact situation

The State of Yuma provides by statute, "No person may be awarded any state construction contract without agreeing to employ only citizens of the state and of the United States in performance of the contract."

 

Question 14

 In evaluating the constitutionality of this state statute under the supremacy clause, which of the following would be most directly relevant?

  1. The general unemployment rate in the nation.
  2. The treaties and immigration laws of the United States.
  3. The need of the state for this particular statute.
  4. The number of aliens currently residing in Yuma.

 

Question 15

 If the Yuma statute is attacked as violating the commerce clause, which of the following defenses is the WEAKEST?

  1. The statute will help protect the workers of the State of Yuma from competition by foreign workers.
  2. The statute will help assure that workers with jobs directly affecting the performance of public contracts are dedicated to their jobs.
  3. The statute will help assure a continuously available and stable work force for the execution of public contracts.
  4. The statute will help assure that only the most qualified individuals work on public contracts.

 

Question 16

Suppose the state supreme court declares the statute to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal constitution and the equal protection clause of the state constitution.

If the state seeks review in the United States Supreme Court, which of the following statements is most accurate? 

  1. The United States Supreme Court may properly review that decision by certiorari only.
  2. The United States Supreme Court may properly review the decision by appeal only.
  3. The United States Supreme Court may properly review the decision by certiorari or by appeal.
  4. The United States Supreme Court may not property review that decision.

 

Questions 17-19 are based on the following fact situation

As part of a comprehensive federal aid-to-education program, Congress included the following provisions as conditions for state receipt of federal funds: (1) Whenever text-books are provided to students without charge, they must include no religious instruction and must be made available on the same terms to students in all public and private schools accredited by the state educational authority. (2) Salary supplements can be paid to teachers in public and private schools, up to ten percent of existing salary schedules, where present compensation is less than the average salary for persons of comparable training and experience, provided that no such supplement is paid to any teacher who instructs in religious subjects. (3) Construction grants can be made toward the cost of physical plant at private colleges and universities, provided that no part of the grant is used for buildings in which instruction in religious subject matters is offered.

 

Question 17

Federal taxpayer Alien challenges the provision that allows the distribution of free textbooks to students in a private school where religious instruction is included in the curriculum.

On the question of the adequacy of Alien's standing to raise the constitutional question, the most likely result is that standing will be

  1. sustained, because any congressional spending authorization can be challenged by any taxpayer.
  2. sustained, because the challenge to the exercise of congressional spending power is based on a claimed violation of specific constitutional limitations on the exercise of such power.
  3. denied, because there is insufficient nexus between the taxpayer and the challenged expenditures.
  4. denied, because in the case of private schools, no state action is involved.

 

Question 18

Federal taxpayer Bates also challenges the salary supplements for teachers in private schools where religious instruction is included in the curriculum.

On the substantive constitutional issue, the most likely result is that the salary supplements will be

  1. sustained, because the statute provides that no supplements will be made to teachers who are engaged in any religious instruction.
  2. sustained, because to distinguish between private and public school teachers would violate the religious freedom clause of the First Amendment.
  3. held unconstitutional because some religions would benefit disproportionately.
  4. held unconstitutional, because the policing of the restriction would amount to an excessive entanglement with religion.

 

Question 19

Federal taxpayer Bates also challenges the construction grants to church operated private colleges and universities. The most likely result is that the construction grants will be

  1. sustained, because aid to one aspect of an institution of higher education not shown to be pervasively sectarian does not necessarily free it to spend its other resources for religious purposes.
  2. sustained, because bricks and mortar do not aid religion in a way forbidden by the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
  3. held unconstitutional, because any financial aid to a church-operated school strengthens the religious purposes of the institution.
  4. held unconstitutional, because the grants involve or cause an excessive entanglement with religion.

 

Question 20

A state accredits public and private schools, licenses their teachers, and supplies textbooks on secular subjects to all such schools. Country Schoolhouse, a private school that offers elementary and secondary education in the state, denies admission to all non-Caucasians.

In a suit to enjoin as unconstitutional the continued racially exclusionary admissions policy of the Country Schoolhouse, which of the following is the strongest argument AGAINST the school?

  1. Because education is a public function, the Country Schoolhouse may not discriminate on racial grounds.
  2. The state is so involved in school regulation and support that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is applicable to the school.
  3. The state is constitutionally obligated to eliminate segregation in all public and private educational institutions within the state.
  4. Any school with teachers who are licensed by the state is forbidden to discriminate on racial grounds.

 

Question 21

A state statute requires that all buses which operate as common carriers on the highways of the state shall be equipped with seat belts (or passengers. Transport Lines, an interstate carrier, challenges the validity of the statute and the right of the state to make the requirement.

What is the best basis for a constitutional challenge by Transport Lines?

  1. Violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  2. Violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  3. Unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.
  4. Difficulty of enforcement.

 

Question 22

Amy Decent, a state college instructor, was discharged because of her refusal to comply with a state statute requiring public employees to swear or affirm that they will (1) "uphold and defend" the state and federal constitutions and (2) "oppose the overthrow" of the state or federal governments "by force, violence, or by any improper method." The statute had previously been held constitutional by the state supreme court. Decent filed a complaint in federal district court alleging the unconstitutionality of the statute and seeking an injunction and damages.

Which of the following is the state's strongest argument for sustaining the validity of the statute?

  1. Government employment is a privilege, not a right.
  2. The oath as a whole is only a commitment to abide by constitutional processes.
  3. The First and Fourteenth Amendments permit a state to fix the conditions of state employment.
  4. The state has a compelling need to keep disloyal persons out of governmental positions of trust.

 

Questions 23-24 are based on the following fact situation

All lawyers practicing in the state of Erewhon must be members of the State Bar Association, by order of the state supreme court. Several state officials serve on the Bar Association's Board of Bar Governors. The Board of Bar Governors authorizes the payment of dues for two staff members to the Cosmopolitan Club, a private dining club licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. The Cosmopolitan Club is frequented by affluent businessmen and professionals and by legislators. It is generally known that the purpose of the membership of the Bar Association staff is to enable them to go where members of the "elite" meet and to lobby for legislation in which the Bar Association is interested. The Stale Bar Association has numerous committees and subcommittees concerned with family law, real estate law, unauthorized practice, etc., and its recommendations often influence state policy. Some committee meetings are held at the Cosmopolitan Club. The club is known to have rules, which restrict membership, by race, religion and sex.

Plaintiffs, husband and wife, who are members of the Erewhon Bar Association, petition the Board of Bar Governors to adopt a resolution prohibiting the payment of club dues to and the holding of meetings of the Bar Association or its committees at places which discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or sex. After substantial public discussion, the Board of Bar Governors, by a close vote, fails to pass such a resolution. These events receive extensive coverage in the local newspapers. Plaintiffs bring an action in federal court seeking an injunction against such payments and the holding of meetings in such places as the Cosmopolitan Club.

 

Question 23

The strongest argument for the plaintiffs is

  1. private rights to discriminate and associate freely must defer to a public interest against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sex.
  2. the failure of the State Bar Association to pass a resolution forbidding discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sex constitute a denial of equal protection.
  3. the State Bar Association is an agency of the state and its payment of dues to such private clubs promotes discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and sex.
  4. the State Bar Association's payment of dues to such private clubs promotes discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and sex.

 

Question 24

Which of the following actions should a federal district court take with respect to jurisdiction?

  1. Hear the case on the merits, because a federal claim is presented.
  2. Hear the case on the merits, because (he expenditure of state funds in support of segregation is forbidden by the Fifth Amendment.
  3. Abstain from jurisdiction, because the constitutional issue should be litigated first in a state court.
  4. Dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, because the issue of the Bar Association activities is solely within the domain of state law.

 

Questions 25-26 are based on the following fact situation

The state of Champlain enacts the Young Adult Marriage Counseling Act, which provides that, before any persons less than 30 years of age may be issued a marriage license, they must receive at least five hours of marriage counseling from a state-licensed social worker. This counseling is designed to assure that applicants for marriage licenses know their legal rights and duties in relation to marriage and parenthood, understand the "true nature" of the marriage relationship, and understand the procedures for obtaining divorces.

 

Question 25

Pine, aged 25, contemplated marrying Ross, aged 25. Both are residents of the State of Champlain. Pine has not yet proposed to Ross because he is offended by the counseling requirement. Pine sues in court seeking a declaratory judgment that the Young Adult Marriage Counseling Act is unconstitutional.

Which of the following is the clearest ground for dismissal for this action by the court?

  1. Pine and Ross are residents of the same state.
  2. No substantial federal question is presented.
  3. The suit presents a nonjusticiable political question.
  4. The suit is unripe.

 

Question 26

In a case in which the constitutionality of the Young Adult Marriage Counseling Act is in issue, the burden of persuasion will probably be on the

  1. person challenging the law, because there is a strong presumption that elected state legislators acted properly.
  2. person challenging the law, because the Tenth Amendment authorized states to determine the conditions on which they issue marriage licenses.
  3. state, because there is a substantial impact on the right to marry, and that right is fundamental.
  4. state, because there is a substantial impact in the discrete and insular class of young adults.

 

Question 27

A statute of the State of Tuscarora made it a misdemeanor to construct any building of more than five stories without an automatic fire sprinkler system. A local construction company built in Tuscarora a ten story federal office building. It constructed the building according to the precise specifications of a federal contract authorized by federal statutes. Because the building was built without the automatic fire sprinkler system required by state law, Tuscarora prosecutes the private contractor.

Which of the following is the company's strongest defense to that prosecution?

  1. The state sprinkler requirement denies the company property or liberty without due process.
  2. The state sprinkler requirement denies the company equal protection of the laws.
  3. As applied, the state sprinkler requirement violates the supremacy clause.
  4. As applied, the state sprinkler requirement violates the obligation of contracts clause.

 

Question 28

Doe is prosecuted for giving his 14-year-old daughter a glass of wine in violation of a state statute prohibiting any person from serving any alcoholic beverage to a minor. Doe defends on the ground that the state statute as applied in his case unconstitutionally interferes with his free exercise of religion.

In determining the constitutionality of this application of the state statute, the court may NOT properly

  1. require the state to bear the burden of persuading the court that the statute is constitutional as applied to Doe.
  2. determine the reasonableness of Doe's religious beliefs.
  3. ascertain whether Doe's religious beliefs require him to serve wine to his child.
  4. decide whether Doe is sincere in his religious beliefs -that is, whether he really believes them.

 

Question 29

A federal statute requires United States civil service employees to retire at age 75. However, that statute also states that civil service employees of the armed forces must retire at age 65. Prentis, a 65-year-old service employee of the Department of the Army, seeks a declaratory judgment that would forbid his mandatory retirement until age 75.

The strongest argument that Prentis can make to invalidate the requirement that he retire at age 65 is that the law

  1. denies him a privilege or immunity of national citizenship.
  2. deprives him of a property right without just compensation.
  3. is not within the scope of any of the enumerated powers of Congress in Article 1, §8.
  4. invidiously discriminates against him on the basis of age in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

 

Question 30

Congress passes a law regulating the wholesale and retail prices of "every purchase or sale of oil, natural gas and electric power made in the United States."

The strongest argument in support of the constitutionality of this statute is that

  1. the Constitution expressly empowers Congress to enact laws for "the general welfare."
  2. Congress has the authority to regulate such products' interstate transportation and importation from abroad.
  3. Congress may regulate the prices of every purchase and sale of goods and services made in this country, because commerce includes buying and selling.
  4. in severable aggregates, the domestic purchases or sales of such products affect interstate or foreign commerce.

 

Question 31

Congress enacted a statute providing that persons may challenge a state energy law on the ground that it is in conflict with the federal Constitution in either federal or state court. According to this federal statute, any decision by a lower state court upholding a state energy law against a challenge based on the federal Constitution may be appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.

The provisions of this statute that authorize direct United States Supreme Court review of specified decisions rendered by lower state courts are

  1. constitutional, because congressional control over questions of energy usage is plenary.
  2. constitutional, because Congress may establish the manner in which the appellate jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court is exercised.
  3. unconstitutional, because they infringe the sovereign right of states to have their supreme courts review decisions of their lower state courts.
  4. unconstitutional, because under Article III of the Constitution the United States Supreme Court does not have authority to review directly decisions of lower state courts.

 

Question 32

Congress enacts a criminal statute prohibiting "any person from interfering in any way with any right conferred on another person by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."

Application of this statute to Jones, a private citizen, would be most clearly constitutional if Jones with threats of violence coerces

  1. a public school teacher to exclude Black pupils from her class, solely because of their race.
  2. Black pupils, solely because of their race, to refrain from attending a privately owned and operated school licensed by the state.
  3. the bus driver operating a free school bus service under the sponsorship of a local church to refuse to allow Black pupils on the bus, solely because of their race.
  4. the federal office in charge of distributing certain federal benefits directly to students from distributing them to Black pupils, solely because of their race.

 

Question 33

A federal statute sets up a program of dental education. The statute provides that the Secretary of Health and Human Services "shall, on a current basis, spend all of the money appropriated for this purpose" and "shall distribute the appropriated funds" by a specified formula to state health departments that agree to participate in the program. In the current year Congress has appropriated $100 million for expenditure on this program. In order to ensure a budget surplus in the current fiscal year, the President issued an executive order directing the various cabinet secretaries to cut expenditures in this year by 10% in all categories. He also orders certain programs to be cut more drastically because he believes that "they are not as important to the general welfare as other programs." The President identifies the dental education program as such a program and orders it to be cut by 50%. Assume that no other federal statutes are relevant.

To satisfy constitutional requirements, how much money must the Secretary of Health and Human Services distribute for the dental education program this year?

  1. $50 million, because the President could reasonably determine that this program is not as important to the general welfare as other programs.
  2. $50 million, because as chief executive the President has the constitutional authority to control the actions of all of his subordinates by executive order.
  3. $90 million, because any more drastic cut for the program would be a denial of equal protection to beneficiaries of this program, as compared to beneficiaries of other programs.
  4. $100 million, because the President may not unilaterally suspend the effect of a valid federal statute imposing a duty to spend appropriated monies.

 

Question 34

A state statute provides that persons moving into a community to attend a college on a full-time basis may not vote in any elections for local or state officials that are held in that community. Instead, the statute provides that for voting purposes all such persons shall retain their residence in the community from which they came. In that state the age of majority is eighteen.

Which of the following is the strongest argument to demonstrate the unconstitutionality of this state statute?

  1. A state does not have an interest that is sufficiently compelling to justify the exclusion from voting of an entire class of persons.
  2. There are less restrictive means by which the state could assure that only actual residents of a community vote in its elections.
  3. Most persons moving to a community to attend college full-time are likely to have attained the age of majority under the laws of this state.
  4. On its face this statute impermissibly discriminates against interstate commerce.

 

Question 35

Congress enacts a statute punishing "each and every conspiracy entered into by any two or more persons for the purpose of denying Black persons housing, employment, or education, solely because of their race."

Under which of the following constitutional provisions is the authority of Congress to pass such a statute most clearly and easily justifiable?

  1. The obligation of contracts clause.
  2. The general welfare clause of Article I, §8.
  3. The Thirteenth Amendment.
  4. The Fourteenth Amendment.

 

Question 36

A federal criminal law makes it a crime for any citizen of the United States not specifically authorized by the President to negotiate with a foreign government for the purpose of influencing the foreign government in relation to a dispute with the United States.

The strongest constitutional ground for the validity of this law is that

  1. under several of its enumerated powers, Congress may legislate to preserve the monopoly of the national government over the conduct of United States foreign affairs.
  2. the President's inherent power to negotiate for the United States with foreign countries authorizes the President, even in the absence of statutory authorization, to punish citizens who engage in such negotiations without permission.
  3. the law deals with foreign relations and therefore is not governed by the First Amendment.
  4. federal criminal laws dealing with international affairs need not be as specific as those dealing with domestic affairs.

 

Question 37

Pursuant to a state statute, Clovis applied for tuition assistance to attend the Institute of Liberal Arts. He was qualified for such assistance in every way except that he was a resident alien who did not intend to become a United States citizen.

The state's restriction of such grants to United States citizens or resident aliens seeking such citizenship is probably

  1. valid, because aliens are not per se "a discrete and insular minority" specially protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
  2. valid, because the line drawn by the state for extending aid was reasonably related to a legitimate state interest.
  3. invalid, because the justifications for this restriction are insufficient to overcome the burden imposed on a state when it uses such an alienage classification.
  4. invalid, because the privileges and immunities clause of Article IV does not permit such an arbitrary classification.

 

Question 38

Congress passes an act requiring that all owners of bicycles in the United States register them with a federal bicycle registry. The purpose of the law is to provide reliable evidence of ownership to reduce bicycle theft. No fee is charged for the registration. Although most stolen bicycles are kept or resold by the thieves in the same cities in which the bicycles were stolen, an increasing number of bicycles are being taken to cities in other states for resale.

Is this act of Congress constitutional?

  1. Yes, because Congress has the power to regulate property for the general welfare.
  2. Yes, because Congress could determine that in inseverable aggregates bicycle thefts affect interstate commerce.
  3. No, because most stolen bicycles remain within the state in which they were stolen.
  4. No, because the registration of vehicles is a matter reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment.

 

Question 39

A statute of the state of Lanape flatly bans the sale or distribution of contraceptive devices to minors. Drugs, Inc., a national retailer of drugs and related items, is charged with violating the Lanape statute.

Which of the following is the strongest constitutional argument Drugs, Inc., could make in defending itself against prosecution for violation of this statute?

  1. The statute constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce.
  2. The statute denies minors one of their fundamental rights without due process.
  3. The statute denies Drugs, Inc., a privilege or immunity of state citizenship.
  4. The statute violates the First Amendment right to freedom of religion because it regulates morals.

 

Question 40

Congress enacted a law prohibiting the killing, capture, or removal of any form of wildlife upon or from any federally owned land.

Which of the following is the most easily justifiable source of national authority for this federal law?

  1. The commerce clause of Article 1,§8.
  2. The privileges and immunities clause of Article IV.
  3. The enforcement clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  4. The property clause of Article IV, §3.

 

Question 41

Congress enacts a law providing that all disagreements between the United States and a state over federal grant-in-aid funds shall be settled by the filing of a suit in the federal district court in the affected state. "The judgment of that federal court shall be transmitted to the head of the federal agency dispensing such funds, who, if satisfied that the judgment is fair and lawful, shall execute the judgment according to its terms."

This law is

  1. constitutional, because disagreements over federal grant-in-aid funds necessarily involve federal questions within the judicial power of the United States.
  2. constitutional, because the spending of federal monies necessarily includes the authority to provide for the effective settlement of disputes involving them.
  3. unconstitutional, because it vests authority in the federal court to determine a matter prohibited to it by the Eleventh Amendment.
  4. unconstitutional, because it vests authority in a federal court to render an advisory opinion.

 

Question 42

The President of the United States recognizes the country of Ruritania and undertakes a diplomatic relations with its government through the Secretary of State. Ruritania is governed by a repressive totalitarian government. In an appropriate federal court, Dunn brings a suit against the President and Secretary of State to set aside this action on the ground that it is inconsistent with the principles of our constitutional form of government. Dunn has a lucrative contract with the United States Department of Commerce to provide commercial information about Ruritania. The contract expressly terminates, however, "when the President recognizes the country of Ruritania and undertakes diplomatic relations with its government."

Which of the following is the most proper disposition of the Dunn suit by federal court?

  1. Suit dismissed, because Dunn does not have standing to bring this action.
  2. Suit dismissed, because there is no adversity between Dunn and the defendants.
  3. Suit dismissed, because it presents a non-justiciable political question.
  4. Suit decided on the merits.

 

Question 43

A state statute requires the permanent removal from parental custody of any child who has suffered "child abuse". That term is defined to include "corporal punishment of any sort." Zeiler very gently spanks his six-year-old son on the buttocks whenever he believes that spanking is necessary to enforce discipline on him. Such a spanking occurs not more than once a month and has never physically harmed the child. The state files suit under the statute to terminate Zeiler's parental rights solely because of these spankings. Zeiler defends only on the ground that the statute in question is unconstitutional as applied to his admitted conduct.

In light of the nature of the rights involved, which of the following is the most probable burden of persuasion on this constitutional issue?

  1. The state has the burden of persuading the court that the application of this statute to Zeiler is necessary to vindicate an important state interest.
  2. The state has the burden of persuading the court that the application of this statute to Zeiler is rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
  3. Zeiler has the burden of persuading the court that the application of this statute to him is not necessary to vindicate an important state interest.
  4. Zeiler has the burden of persuading the court that the application of this statute to him is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.

 

Question 44

According to a statute of the State of Kiowa, a candidate for state office may have his name placed on the official election ballot only if he files with the appropriate state official a petition containing a specified number of voter signatures. Roderick failed to get his name placed on the state ballot as an independent candidate for governor, because he failed to file a petition with the number of voter signatures required by state statute. In a suit against the appropriate state officials in federal district court, Roderick sought an injunction against the petition signature requirement on the ground that it was unconstitutional.

Which of the following, if established, constitutes the strongest argument for Roderick?

  1. Compliance with the petition signature requirement is burdensome.
  2. The objectives of the statute could be satisfactorily achieved by less burdensome means.
  3. Because of the petitions signature requirement, very few independent candidates have ever succeeded in getting on the ballot.
  4. The motivation for the statute was a desire to keep candidates off the ballot if they did not have strong support among voters.

 

Question 45

Congress passes an Energy Conservation Act. The act requires all users of energy in this country to reduce their consumption by a specified percentage, to be set by a presidential executive order. The act sets forth specific standards the President must use in setting the percentage and detailed procedures to be followed.

The provision that allows the President to set the exact percentage is probably

  1. constitutional, because it creates a limited administrative power to implement the statute.
  2. constitutional, because inherent executive powers permit such action even without statutory authorization.
  3. unconstitutional as an undue delegation of legislative power to the executive.
  4. unconstitutional, because it violates the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

 

Question 46

The federal government has complete jurisdiction over certain park land located within the State of Plains. To conserve the wildlife that inhabits that land, the federal government enacts a statute forbidding all hunting of animals in the federal park. That statute also forbids the hunting of animals that have left the federal park and have entered the State of Plains.

Hanson has a hunting license from the State of Plains authorizing him to hunt deer anywhere in the state. On land adjacent to the federal park, Hanson shoots a deer he knows has recently left the federal land.

Hanson is prosecuted for violation the federal hunting law. The strongest ground supporting the constitutionality of the federal law forbidding the hunting of wild animals that wander off federal property is that

  1. this law is a necessary and proper means of protecting United States property.
  2. the animals are moving in the stream of interstate commerce.
  3. the police powers of the federal government encompass protection of wild animals.
  4. shooting wild animals is a privilege, not a right.

 

Questions 47-48 are based on the following fact situation

Three states, East Winnetka, Midland, and West Hampton, are located next to one another in that order. The states of East Winnetka and West Hampton permit the hunting and trapping of snipe, but the state of Midland strictly forbids it in order to protect snipe, a rare species of animal, from extinction. The state of Midland has a state statute that provides, "Possession of snipe traps is prohibited. Any game warden finding a snipe trap within the state shall seize and destroy it." Snipe traps cost about $15 each.

Prentis is a resident of West Hampton and an ardent snipe trapper. She drove her car to East Winnetka to purchase a new improved snipe trap from a manufacturer there. In the course of her trip back across Midland with the trap in her car, Prentis stopped in a Midland state park to camp for a few nights. While she was in the park, a Midland game warden saw the trap, which was visible on the front seat of her car. The warden seized the trap and destroyed it in accordance with the Midland statute after Prentis admitted that the seized item was a prohibited snipe trap. No federal statutes or other federal administrative regulations apply.

 

Question 47

For this question only, assume that Prentis demonstrates that common carriers are permitted to transport snipe traps as cargo across Midland for delivery to another state and that in practice, the Midland statute is enforced only against private individuals transporting those traps in private vehicles.

If Prentis challenges the application of the Midland statute to her on the basis only of a denial of equal protection, this application of the statute will probably be found

  1. constitutional, because the traps constitute contraband in which Prentis could have no protected property interest.
  2. constitutional, because there is a rational basis for differentiating between the possession of snipe traps as interstate cargo by common carriers and the possession of snipe traps by private individuals.
  3. unconstitutional, because the state cannot demonstrate a compelling public purpose for making this differentiation between common carriers and such private individuals.
  4. unconstitutional, because interstate travel is a fundamental right that may not be burdened by state law.

 

Question 48

For this question only, assume that a valid federal administrative rule, adopted under a federal consumer product safety act, regulates the design of snipe traps. The rule was issued to prevent traps from causing injury to human beings, e.g. by pinching fingers while persons were setting the traps. No other federal law applies.

Which of the following best states the effect of the federal rule on the Midland state statute?

  1. The federal rule preempts the Midland state statute, because the federal rule regulates the same subject matter, snipe traps.
  2. The federal rule preempts the Midland state statute, because the federal rule does not contain affirmative authorization for continued state regulation.
  3. The federal rule does not preempt the Midland state statute, because the Midland state statute regulates wild animals, a field of exclusive state power.
  4. The federal rule does not preempt the Midland state statute, because the purposes of the federal rule and the Midland state statute are different.

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