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  • Foster & Elam v. Neilson
    the defendant would a court of the United States maintain his title under a Spanish p254 grant made subsequent to the acquisition of Louisiana singly on the principle that the Spanish construction of the Treaty of St Ildefonso was right and the American construction wrong Such a decision would subvert those principles which govern the relations between the Legislative and Judicial Departments and mark the limits of each The sounds construction of the 8th article of the Treaty between the United States and Spain of 22d February 1829 will not enable the Court to apply its provisions to the case of the plaintiff The article does not declare that all the grants made by His Catholic Majesty before the 24th of January 1818 shall be valid to the same extent as if the ceded territories had remained under his dominion It does not say that those grants are hereby confirmed Had such been its language it would have acted directly on the subject and it would have repealed those acts of Congress which were repugnant to it but its language is that those grants shall be ratified and confirmed to the persons in possession c By whom shall they be ratified and confirmed This seems to be the language of contract and if it is the ratification and confirmation which are promised must be the act of the legislature Until such act shall be passed the Court is not at liberty to disregard the existing laws on this subject A treaty is in the nature of a contract between two nations not a legislative act It does not generally effect of itself the object to be accomplished especially so far as its operation is infra territorial but is carried into execution by the sovereign power of the respective parties to the instrument In the United States a different principle is established Our Constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land It is consequently to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the legislature whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision But when the terms of the stipulation import a contract when either of the parties engage to perform a particular act the treaty addresses itself to the Political not the Judicial Department and the Legislature must execute the contract before it can become a rule for the Court The plaintiffs in error filed their petition in the district court setting forth that on the 2d of January 1804 Jayme Joydra purchased of the Spanish government for a valuable consideration and was put in possession of a certain tract or parcel of land situated in the district of Feliciana thirty miles to the east of the Mississippi within the province of West Florida containing forty thousand arpents having the marks and boundaries as laid down in the original plat of survey annexed to the deed of sale made by Juan Ventura Morales then intendent of the Spanish Government

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0027_0253_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools
    may enforce a constitutionally protected right Davis 442 U S at 241 was not limiting the traditional presumption in favor of all appropriate relief to actions claiming constitutional violations Rather it was merely attempting to decide whether a litigant had a cause of action a question that is analytically distinct from and prior to the one at issue what relief if any a litigant is entitled to receive see id at 239 Nor did Guardians Assn v Civil Service Comm n of New York City 463 U S 582 and Consolidated Rail Corp v Darrone 465 U S 624 erode the traditional presumption In fact those cases support it since a clear majority in Guardians expressed the view that damages were available in an action seeking remedies for an intentional violation of a statute closely analogous to Title IX while a unanimous Court in Darrone held that another such statute authorized the award of backpay Pp 68 71 d Congress did not intend to limit the remedies available in a Title IX suit Because the Cannon Court inferred a cause of action upon concluding that Title IX supported no express right of action the silence of the pre Cannon statutory text and legislative history on the issue of available remedies is neither surprising nor enlightening Rather the appropriate inquiry for the pre Cannon period is the state of the law when Congress passed Title IX Since at that time the traditional presumption in favor of all available remedies was firmly established and this Court had recently found implied rights of action in six cases and approved a damages remedy in three of them the lack of any legislative intent to abandon the traditional presumption is amply demonstrated For the post Cannon period when Congress was legislating with full cognizance of that decision analysis of the text and history of the two statutes enacted to amend Title IX the Civil Rights Remedies Equalization Amendment of 1986 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 establishes that Congress validated Cannon s holding and made no effort to alter the traditional presumption Pp 71 73 e The argument that a damages award would unduly expand the federal courts power into a sphere properly reserved to the Executive and Legislative Branches in violation of separation of powers principles misconceives the difference between a cause of action and a remedy Unlike the finding of a cause of action which authorizes a court to hear a case or controversy the discretion to award appropriate relief involves no such increase in judicial power and in fact historically has been thought necessary to provide an important safeguard against legislative and executive abuses and to insure an independent judiciary Moreover selective adjudication of the sort advocated here would harm separation of powers by giving judges the power to render inutile causes of action authorized by Congress through a decision that no remedy is available Pp 73 74 f Also rejected is the contention that the normal presumption in favor

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0503_0060_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Frazee v. Illinois Department of Employment Security
    The denial was affirmed by an administrative review board an Illinois Circuit Court and the State Appellate Court which found that since appellant was not a member of an established religious sect or church and did not claim that his refusal to work resulted from a tenet belief or teaching of an established religious body his personal professed religious belief although unquestionably sincere was not good cause for his refusal to work on Sunday Held The denial of unemployment compensation benefits to appellant on the ground that his refusal to work was not based on tenets or dogma of an established religious sect violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment Sherbert v Verner 374 U S 398 374 U S 398 Thomas v Review Bd of Indiana Employment Security Div 450 U S 707 and 450 U S 707 and Hobbie v Unemployment Appeals Comm n of Florida 480 U S 136 rested on the fact that each of the claimants had a sincere belief that religion required him or her to refrain from the work in question not on the consideration that each of them was a member of a particular religious sect or on any tenet of the sect forbidding such work While membership in a sect would simplify the problem of identifying sincerely held beliefs the notion that one must be responding to the commands of a particular religious organization to claim the protection of the Free Exercise Clause is rejected The sincerity or religious nature of appellant s belief was not questioned by the courts below and was conceded by the State which offered no justification for the burden that the denial of benefits placed on appellant s right to exercise his religion The fact

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0489_0829_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Freeman v. Pitts
    this test DCSS had never achieved unitary status it could not shirk its constitutional duties by pointing to demographic shifts occurring prior to unitary status and that DCSS would have to take further actions to correct the racial imbalance even though such actions might be administratively awkward p468 inconvenient and even bizarre in some situations Swann v Charlotte Mecklenburg Bd of Education 402 U S 1 28 Held 1 In the course of supervising a desegregation plan a district court has the authority to relinquish supervision and control of a school district in incremental stages before full compliance has been achieved in every area of school operations and may while retaining jurisdiction over the case determine that it will not order further remedies in areas where the school district is in compliance with the decree Pp 485 492 a Green held that the duty of a former de jure district is to take all necessary steps to convert to a unitary system in which racial discrimination is eliminated set forth factors that measure unitariness and instructed the district courts to fashion remedies that address all these factors Although the unitariness concept is helpful in defining the scope of the district court s authority the term unitary does not have a fixed meaning or content and does not confine the court s discretion in a way that departs from traditional equitable principles Under such principles a court has the inherent capacity to adjust remedies in a feasible and practical way to correct the constitutional violation Swann supra at 15 16 with the end purpose of restoring state and local authorities to the control of a school system that is operating in compliance see e g Milliken v Bradley 433 U S 267 280 281 Where justified by the facts of the case incremental or partial withdrawal of judicial supervision and control in areas of compliance and retention of jurisdiction over the case with continuing supervision in areas of noncompliance provides an orderly means for fulfilling this purpose In particular the court may determine that it will not order further remedies in the area of student assignments where racial imbalance is not traceable in a proximate way to constitutional violations See Pasadena City Bd of Education v Spangler 427 U S 424 436 Pp 485 491 b Among the factors which must inform the court s discretion to order the incremental withdrawal of its supervision in an equitable manner are the following whether there has been full and satisfactory compliance with the decree in those aspects of the system where supervision is to be withdrawn whether retention of control is necessary or practicable to achieve compliance in other areas and whether the school district has demonstrated to the public and to the parents and students of the once disfavored race its good faith commitment to the whole of the decree and to those statutory and constitutional provisions that were the predicate for judicial intervention in the first instance In considering these factors

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0503_0467_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Frisby v. Schultz
    of Appeals ultimately affirmed Held The ordinance is not facially invalid under the First Amendment Pp 479 488 a Although the town s streets are narrow and of a residential character they are nevertheless traditional public fora Carey v Brown 447 U S 455 and therefore the ordinance must be judged against the stringent standards this Court has established for restrictions on speech in such fora Perry Education Assn v Perry Local Educators Assn 460 U S 37 Pp 480 481 b The ordinance is content neutral and cannot be read as containing an implied exception for peaceful labor picketing on the theory that an express state law protection for such picketing takes precedence This Court will defer to the rejection of that theory by the lower courts which are better schooled in and more able to interpret Wisconsin law Pp 481 482 c The ordinance leaves open ample alternative channels of communication Although the precise scope of the ordinance s ban is not further described within its text its use of the singular form of the words residence and dwelling suggests that it is intended to prohibit only picketing focused on and taking place in front of a particular residence a reading which is supported by appellants representations at oral argument The lower courts contrary interpretation of the ordinance as banning all picketing in residential areas constitutes plain error and runs afoul of the well established principle that statutes will be p475 interpreted to avoid constitutional difficulties Viewed in the light of the narrowing construction the ordinance allows protestors to enter residential neighborhoods either alone or marching in groups to go door to door to proselytize their views or distribute literature and to contact residents through the mails or by telephone short of harassment Pp 482 484 d As

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0487_0474_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Frontiero v. Richardson
    of obtaining increased quarters allowances and medical and dental benefits but that spouses of female members are not dependents unless they are in fact dependent for over one half of their support When her application was denied for failure to satisfy the statutory dependency standard appellant and her husband brought this suit in District Court contending that the statutes deprived servicewomen of due process From that Court s adverse ruling they took a direct appeal Held The judgment is reversed Pp 682 691 691 692 MR JUSTICE BRENNAN joined by MR JUSTICE DOUGLAS MR JUSTICE WHITE and MR JUSTICE MARSHALL concluded that 37 U S C 401 403 and 10 U S C 1072 1076 as inherently suspect statutory classifications based on sex are so unjustifiably discriminatory as to violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment Pp 682 691 MR JUSTICE STEWART concluded that the challenged statutes work an invidious discrimination in violation of the Constitution Reed v Reed 404 U S 71 P 691 MR JUSTICE POWELL joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR JUSTICE BLACKMUN while agreeing that the statutes deprive servicewomen of due process concluded that in the light of Reed v Reed 404 U

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0411_0677_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Fuentes v. Shevin
    a final judgment in the underlying repossession action In Pennsylvania the applicant need not initiate a repossession action or allege as Florida requires legal entitlement to the property it being sufficient that he file an affidavit of the value of the property and to secure a post seizure hearing the party losing the property through replevin must himself initiate a suit to recover the property He may also post his own counterbond within three days of the seizure to regain possession Included in the printed form sales contracts that appellants signed were provisions for the sellers repossession of the merchandise on the buyers default Three judge District Courts in both cases upheld the constitutionality of the challenged replevin provisions Held 1 The Florida and Pennsylvania replevin provisions are invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment since they work a deprivation of property without due process of law by denying the right to a p68 prior opportunity to be heard before chattels are taken from the possessor Pp 80 93 a Procedural due process in the context of these cases requires an opportunity for a hearing before the State authorizes its agents to seize property in the possession of a person upon the application of another and the minimal deterrent effect of the bond requirement against unfounded applications for a writ constitutes no substitute for a pre seizure hearing Pp 80 84 b From the standpoint of the application of the Due Process Clause it is immaterial that the deprivation may be temporary and nonfinal during the three day post seizure period Pp 84 86 c The possessory interest of appellants who had made substantial installment payments was sufficient for them to invoke procedural due process safeguards notwithstanding their lack of full title to the replevied goods Pp 86 87 d The District

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0407_0067_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Fullilove v. Klutznick
    with federal statutory and administrative directives Since the reach of the Spending Power is at least as broad as Congress regulatory powers if Congress pursuant to its regulatory powers could have achieved the objectives of the MBE program then it may do so under the Spending Power Pp 473 475 ii Insofar as the MBE program pertains to the actions of private prime contractors including those not responsible for any violation of antidiscrimination laws Congress could have achieved its objectives under the Commerce Clause The legislative history shows that there was a rational basis for Congress to conclude that the subcontracting practices of prime contractors could perpetuate the prevailing impaired access by minority businesses to public contracting opportunities and that this inequity has an effect on interstate commerce Pp 475 476 iii Insofar as the MBE program pertains to the actions of state and local grantees Congress could have achieved its objectives by use of its power under 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to enforce by appropriate legislation the equal protection guarantee of that Amendment Congress had abundant historical basis from which it could conclude p450 that traditional procurement practices when applied to minority businesses could perpetuate the effects of prior discrimination and that the prospective elimination of such barriers to minority firm access to public contracting opportunities was appropriate to ensure that those businesses were not denied equal opportunity to participate in federal grants to state and local governments which is one aspect of the equal protection of the laws Cf e g Katzenbach v Morgan 384 U S 641 384 U S 641 384 U S 641 Oregon v Mitchell 400 U S 112 Pp 476 478 iv Thus the objectives of the MBE provision are within the scope of Congress Spending Power Cf Lau v Nichols 414 U S 563 Pp 479 480 c Congress use here of racial and ethnic criteria as a condition attached to a federal grant is a valid means to accomplish its constitutional objectives and the MBE provision on its face does not violate the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment Pp 480 492 i In the MBE program s remedial context there is no requirement that Congress act in a wholly color blind fashion Cf e g Swann v Charlotte Mecklenberg Board of Education 402 U S l McDaniel v Barresi 402 U S 39 North Carolina Board of Education v Swann 402 U S 43 Pp 482 484 ii The MBE program is not constitutionally defective because it may disappoint the expectations of access to a portion of government contracting opportunities of nonminority firms who may themselves be innocent of any prior discriminatory actions When effectuating a limited and properly tailored remedy to cure the effects of prior discrimination such a sharing of the burden by innocent parties is not impermissible Franks v Bowman Transportation Co 424 U S 747 777 Pp 484 485 iii Nor is the MBE program invalid as being underinclusive

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0448_0448_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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