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  • Jurek v. Texas
    mean that the jury could consider various mitigating factors Held The judgment is affirmed Pp 268 277 277 278 279 279 522 S W 2d 934 affirmed MR JUSTICE STEWART MR JUSTICE POWELL and MR JUSTICE STEVENS concluded that 1 The imposition of the death penalty is not per se cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment s Gregg ante at 168 187 P 268 2 The Texas capital sentencing procedures do not violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment s Texas action in narrowing capital offenses to five categories in essence requires the jury to find the existence of a statutory aggravating circumstance before p263 the death penalty may be imposed thus requiring the sentencing authority to focus on the particularized nature of the crime And though the Texas statute does not explicitly speak of mitigating circumstances it has been construed to embrace the jury s consideration of such circumstances Thus as in the cases of Gregg v Georgia ante p 153 and Proffitt v Florida ante p 242 the Texas capital sentencing procedure guides and focuses the jury s objective consideration of the particularized circumstances of the individual offense and the individual offender before it can impose a sentence of death The Texas law has thus eliminated the arbitrariness and caprice of the system invalidated in Furman Petitioner s contentions to the contrary are without substance Pp 268 276 a His assertion that arbitrariness still pervades the entire Texas criminal justice system fundamentally misinterprets Furman Gregg ante at 198 199 P 274 b Petitioner s contention that the second statutory question is unconstitutionally vague because it requires the prediction of human behavior lacks merit The jury s task in answering that question is one that must commonly be performed throughout the American criminal justice

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0428_0262_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Kassel v. Consolidated Freightways Corporation of Delaware
    affirmed Pp 669 679 679 687 612 F 2d 1064 affirmed JUSTICE POWELL joined by JUSTICE WHITE JUSTICE BLACKMUN and JUSTICE STEVENS concluded that the Iowa truck length limitations unconstitutionally burden interstate commerce See Raymond Motor Transportation Inc v Rice 434 U S 429 Pp 669 679 a The Commerce Clause itself even without congressional implementation is a limitation upon state power to regulate commerce While the Court has been most reluctant to invalidate state regulations that touch upon safety especially highway safety the constitutionality of such regulations nevertheless depends on a sensitive consideration of the weight and nature of the state regulatory concern in light of the extent of the burden imposed on the course of interstate commerce Raymond supra at 443 441 Pp 669 671 b Since Iowa s safety interest has not been demonstrated and since its regulations impair significantly the federal interest in efficient and p663 safe interstate transportation the Iowa law cannot be harmonized with the Commerce Clause The record including statistical studies supports the District Court s finding that 65 foot doubles are as safe as 55 foot singles And appellee demonstrated that Iowa s law substantially burdens interstate commerce In addition to the increased costs of trucking companies in routing 65 foot doubles around Iowa or using smaller truck units through the State Iowa s law may aggravate rather than ameliorate the problem of highway accidents Iowa s restriction resulting in either more smaller trucks being driven through Iowa or the same number of larger trucks being driven longer distances to bypass Iowa requires more highway miles to be driven to transport the same quantity of goods Other things being equal accidents are proportional to distance traveled Thus if 65 foot doubles are as safe as 55 foot singles Iowa s law tends to increase the number of accidents and to shift their incidence from Iowa to other States Pp 671 675 c While the Court normally accords special deference to a state legislature s judgment in enacting highway regulations Raymond supra at 444 n 18 less deference is due where as here the local regulation bears disproportionately on out of state residents and businesses Exemptions in Iowa s statutory scheme particularly those permitting single trailer trucks hauling livestock or farm vehicles to be as long as 60 feet and permitting cities abutting other States to enact local ordinances to adopt the larger length limitation of the neighboring State and thus allow otherwise oversized trucks within the city limits and in nearby commercial zones secure to Iowans many of the benefits of large trucks while shunting to neighboring States many of the costs associated with their use Moreover the history of the border cities exemption suggests that Iowa s statute may not have been designed to ban dangerous trucks but rather to discourage interstate truck traffic A State cannot constitutionally promote its own parochial interests by requiring safe vehicles to detour around it Pp 675 678 JUSTICE BRENNAN joined by JUSTICE MARSHALL concluded

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0450_0662_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Katz v. United States
    an indictment charging him with transmitting wagering information by telephone across state lines in violation of 18 U S C 1084 Evidence of petitioner s end of the conversations overheard by FBI agents who had attached an electronic listening and recording device to the outside of the telephone booth from which the calls were made was introduced at the trial The Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction finding that there was no Fourth Amendment violation since there was no physical entrance into the area occupied by petitioner Held 1 The Government s eavesdropping activities violated the privacy upon which petitioner justifiably relied while using the telephone booth and thus constituted a search and seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment Pp 350 353 a The Fourth Amendment governs not only the seizure of tangible items but extends as well to the recording of oral statements Silverman v United States 365 U S 505 511 P 353 b Because the Fourth Amendment protects people rather than places its reach cannot turn on the presence or absence of a physical intrusion into any given enclosure The trespass doctrine of Olmstead v United States 277 U S 438 and Goldman v United

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0389_0347_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Katzenbach v. McClung
    Decided December 14 1964 Appellees whose restaurant in Birmingham Alabama caters to local white customers with take out service for Negroes serving food a substantial portion of which has moved in interstate commerce sued to enjoin appellants from enforcing against their restaurant and others Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which they claimed was unconstitutional A three judge District Court granted an injunction holding that there was no demonstrable connection between food purchased in interstate commerce and sold in a restaurant and Congress conclusion that discrimination in the restaurant would affect commerce so as to warrant regulation of local activities to protect interstate commerce Held 1 Since interference with governmental action has occurred and the constitutionality of Title II is before the Court in a companion case the Court reaches the merits of this case by considering the complaint as an application for declaratory judgment instead of denying relief for want of equity jurisdiction as it would ordinarily do on the ground that appellees should have waited to pursue the statutory procedures for adjudication of their rights Pp 295 296 2 Congress acted within its power to protect and foster commerce in extending coverage of Title II

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0379_0294_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Katzenbach v. Morgan
    sixth grade in a public school or an accredited private school in Puerto Rico in which the language of instruction was other than English shall be disfranchised for inability to read or write English A three judge District Court granted appellees declaratory and injunctive relief holding that in enacting 4 e Congress had exceeded its powers Held Section 4 e is a proper exercise of the powers under 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment and by virtue of the Supremacy Clause New York s English literacy requirement cannot be enforced to the extent it conflicts with 4 e Pp 646 658 a Though the States have power to fix voting qualifications they cannot do so contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment or any other constitutional provision P 647 b Congress power under 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to enact legislation prohibiting enforcement of a state law is not limited to situations where the state law has been adjudged to violate the provisions of the Amendment which Congress sought to enforce It is therefore the Court s task here to determine not whether New York s English literacy requirement as applied violates the Equal Protection Clause but whether 4 e s prohibition against that requirement is appropriate legislation to enforce the Clause Lassiter v Northampton Election Bd 360 U S 45 distinguished Pp 648 650 p642 c Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment is a positive grant of legislative power authorizing Congress to exercise its discretion in determining the need for and nature of legislation to secure Fourteenth Amendment guarantees The test of McCulloch v Maryland 4 Wheat 316 421 is to be applied to determine whether a congressional enactment is appropriate legislation under 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment Pp 650 651 d Section 4 e was enacted to enforce the Equal Protection

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0384_0641_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Kendall v. United States
    the duty required to be performed is clear and specific and their is no other adequate remedy The cases of M Intire v Wood 7 Cranch 504 and M Cluny v Silliman 6 Wheat p526 349 have decided that the Circuit Courts of the United States in the several States have no power to issue a mandamus against one of the officers of the United States The result of the cases of M Intire v Wood and M Cluny v Silliman clearly is that the authority to issue the writ of mandamus to an officer of the United States commanding him to perform a specific act required by a law of the United States is within the scope of the judicial powers of the United States under the Constitution but that the whole of that power has not been communicated by law to the Circuit Courts of the United States in the several States It is a dormant power not yet called into action and vested in those courts And there is nothing growing out of the official character of a party that will exempt him from this writ if the act to be performed is merely ministerial It is sound principle that in every well organized government the judicial powers should be coextensive with the legislative so far at least as they are to be enforced by judicial proceedings There is in the District of Columbia no division of powers between the General and State Governments Congress has the entire control over the District for every purpose of government and it is reasonable to suppose that in organizing a judicial department in this District all the judicial power necessary for the purposes of government would be vested in the courts of justice The Circuit Court in the District is the highest court of original jurisdiction and if the power to issue a mandamus in such a case as that before the Court exists in any court it is vested in that court At the date of the act of Congress establishing the Government of the District of Columbia the common law of England was in force in Maryland and of course remained and continued in force in the part of the District ceded by Maryland to the United States The power to issue a mandamus in a proper case is a part of the common law and it has been fully recognised as in practical operation in a case decided in the court of that State The power to issue the writ of mandamus is in England given to the King s Bench only as having the general supervising power over all inferior jurisdictions and officers and is coextensive with judicial power And the same theory prevails in the State governments of the United States where the common law is adopted and governs in the administration of justice and the power of issuing this writ is generally confided to the highest court of original jurisdiction There can be no doubt but that in the State of Maryland a writ of mandamus might be issued to an Executive officer commanding him to perform a ministerial act required of him by the laws and if it would lie in that State there can be no good reason why it should not lie in the District of Colombia in analogous cases The powers of the Supreme Court of the United States and of the Circuit Courts of the United States to issue writs of mandamus granted by the 14th section of the Judiciary Act of 1789 are only for the purpose of bringing the case to a final judgment or decree so that it may be reviewed The mandamus does not direct the inferior court how to proceed but only that it must proceed according to its own judgment to a final determination otherwise it cannot be reviewed in the appellate court It is different in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia under the adoption of the laws of Maryland which include the common law The power of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia to exercise the jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus to a public officer to do an act required of him by law results from the 3d section of the Act of Congress of February 17 1801 p527 which declares that the court and the judges thereof shall have all the power by law vested in the Circuit Courts of the United States The Circuit Courts referred to were those established by the Act of February 13th 1801 The repeal of that law fifteen months afterwards and after the Circuit for the District had been organized and had gone into operation under the Act of 27 February 1801 could not in any manner affect that law any further than was provided by the repealing act It was not an uncommon course of legislation in the States at an early day to adopt by reference British statutes and this has been the course by legislation in Congress in many instances when State practice and State process has been adopted And such adoption has always been considered as referring to the law existing at the time of adoption and no subsequent legislation has ever been supposed to affect and such must necessarily be the effect and operation of such adoption No court can in the ordinary administration of justice in common law proceedings exercise jurisdiction over a party unless he shall voluntarily appear or is found within the jurisdiction of the court so as to be served with process Such process cannot reach the party beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the court This is a personal privilege which may be waived by appearance and if advantage be taken of it it must be by plea or some other mode at an early stage of the cause In error to the Circuit Court of the United States in the District of Columbia for the County of Washington On the twenty sixty day of May 1837 William B Stokes Richard C Stockton Lucius W Stockton and Daniel Moore presented a petition to the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for the County of Washington stating that under contracts duly and legally made by them with the late William T Barry then postmaster general of the United States and duly authorized by law they were entitled to certain credits and allowances on their contracts for the transportation of the mail of the United States that the credits and allowances were made and given to them on their contracts and amounts of money actually paid on such accounts that some time in 1835 William T Barry resigned his situation as postmaster general and Amos Kendall was appointed to the office that after he had entered on the duties of his office he undertook to reexamine the contracts entered into by his predecessor and the credits and allowances made by him and ordered and directed the allowances and credits to be withdrawn and the petitioners recharged with divers payments they had received The petitioners state that they were dissatisfied with these proceedings of Amos Kendall as postmaster general and believing he had p528 exceeded his authority and being unable to adjust their differences with him they addressed a memorial to the congress of the United States A copy of the memorial was annexed to the petition The memorial stated at large all the circumstances which the petitioners considered as affecting their case the proceedings of the postmaster general in the matter and the heavy grievances done to the memorialists by the course adopted by the postmaster general They ask such proceedings on the part of congress as its wisdom and justice may direct The petition states that congress passed an act which was approved by the President of the United States on the 2d of July 1836 which act provided that the Solicitor of the Treasury be and he is hereby authorized and directed to settle and adjust the claims of William B Stokes Richard C Stockton of Maryland and Lucius W Stockton and Daniel Moore of Pennsylvania for extra services performed by them as contractors for carrying the mail under and by virtue of certain contracts therefor alleged to have been made and entered into with them by William T Barry late Postmaster General of the United States and for this purpose to inquire into and determine the equity of the claims of them or any of them for or on account of any contract or additional contract with the said Postmaster General on which their pay may have been suspended by the present Postmaster General and to make them such allowances therefor as upon a full examination of all the evidence may seem right according to the principles of equity and that the said Postmaster General be and he is hereby directed to credit such mail contractors with whatever sum or sums of money if any the said Solicitor shall so decide to be due to them for or an account of any such service or contract and the Solicitor is hereby authorized to take testimony if he shall judge it to be necessary to do so and that he report to congress at its next session the law and the facts upon which his decision has been founded Provided the said Solicitor is not authorized to make any allowance for any suspension or withholding of money by the present Postmaster General for allowances or overpayments made by his predecessor on route number thirteen hundred and seventy one from Philadelphia to Baltimore for carrying the mail in steamboats when it was not so carried by said Stockton and Stockes but by the steamboat company nor for any suspension or withholding of money as aforesaid for allowances or overpayments made as aforesaid for carrying an express mail from p529 Baltimore to York or Lancaster nor for any suspension or withholding of money as aforesaid for allowances or overpayments made as aforesaid on route number thirteen hundred and ninety one from Westminster to M Connerston as described in the improved bid nor for any suspension or withholding of money as aforesaid for allowances or overpayments as aforesaid on the route from Baltimore to Wheeling for running a certain daily line to Hagerstown and Wheeling from the first of September eighteen hundred and thirty two to the first of April eighteen hundred and thirty three when the line referred to only run tri weekly nor for any suspension or withholding of money as aforesaid for allowances or overpayments made as aforesaid on the route from Baltimore to Washington under the contract of eighteen hundred and twenty seven but nothing in this proviso shall prejudice any application they may make hereafter in reference to these routes if they shall think it proper to make such application The petition states that in pursuance and in execution of this act Virgil Maxey being Solicitor of the Treasury did proceed to examine adjust and settle the said claims and on the 12th day of November 1836 did make out and transmit to the said Amos Kendall Postmaster General in part his award and decision upon certain items of said claims so referred to him and on the 23d of November 1836 he communicated to the Postmaster General his decision and award on the residue of the claims of the petitioners The decision of the Solicitor of the Treasury of the 12th of December 1836 after stating the particular items of account from which the balances arose was as follows I therefore in pursuance of the authority conferred on me by the aforementioned act of congress make allowance to said Richard C Stockton for his said claims up to the 1st of April 1835 of the above sum of eighty three thousand two hundred and seventy eight dollars I also by virtue of the same authority make allowance to said Stockton for his said claims for extra services from the 1st of April to 31st of December 1835 of the said sum of twenty six thousand eight hundred and sixty two dollars A claim for interest having been made I have postponed the consideration of it until the equity of the other claims of the gentlemen p530 named in the title of the act shall have been inquired into and determined On the 22d of November 1836 the Solicitor made a final award which was also communicated by him to the Postmaster General That award after setting forth the items of the accounts presented and established in the judgment of the Solicitor of the Treasury against the United States was I have examined the evidence touching the above claims and find due to the petitioners or to Richard C Stockton the following sums For additional daily mail to Washington thirty four thousand two hundred dollars For compensation for carrying the mail in the spring of 1831 between Baltimore and Philadelphia and for other services connected therewith less two hundred and ninety four dollars the sum of eleven thousand seven hundred and ninety seven dollars and sixteen cents Claims for interest four thousand eight hundred and thirty six dollars and eighty nine cents one thousand six hundred and sixty four dollars and seventy cents and three hundred and ninety two dollars and thirty four cents The petitioners state that under and by virtue of the award of the Solicitor of the Treasury they became entitled to have the sum of one hundred and sixty two thousand seven hundred and twenty seven dollars and five cents carried to their credit or at least after allowing some deductions therefrom made by the said Solicitor with their assent the sum of one hundred and sixty one thousand five hundred and sixty three dollars and eighty nine cents as the amount of principal and interest due to them by the terms of the award and decision But the said Postmaster General although fully notified of the premises and after a considerable delay only so far obeyed and carried into execution the said act of congress and said award as to direct and cause to be carried to the credit of the petitioners the sum of one hundred and twenty two thousand one hundred and one dollars and forty six cents which said last mentioned sum of money has been accordingly paid or credited to the petitioners and he has from that time and does still refuse omit and neglect notwithstanding the provisions of said act of congress and the said award and decision of said Solicitor of the Treasury so made communicated and reported as aforesaid to pay or credit to the petitioners the residue of the said sum so awarded being the sum of thirty nine thousand four hundred and sixty two dollars and forty three cents or to credit or p531 pay to the petitioners or either of them the interest upon the said balance so unjustly and illegally withheld The petition states that after the refusal omission or neglect of Amos Kendall to execute his duty by obeying the act of congress in passing the amount awarded to his credit the petitioners communicated the facts of their case to the President of the United States requesting him to cause the said act of congress to be executed who thereupon transmitted the same to Amos Kendall the Postmaster General and having received a reply to the same stating why he had thus refused to comply with the award and suggesting an application to congress for further legislation The president in December 1836 transmitted this reply to the petitioners and in his communication says It appearing that there is a difference of opinion between the Solicitor and the Postmaster General upon the extent of the reference under the law to the Solicitor the Postmaster General having yielded to what he believes to be all that was submitted by the law to the Solicitor s decision and paid the same But congress being now in session and the best expounder of the intent and meaning of their own law I think it right and proper under existing circumstances to refer it to that body for their decision I deem this course proper as the difference in opinion about the extent of the submission under the law arises between the head of the post office department and the Solicitor of the Treasury and as it appears the Solicitor has reversed in part his decision and award The petitioners in consequence of this correspondence presented to congress a memorial which in the senate was referred to the committee on the judiciary The petition refers to the reports of the judiciary committee of the senate of January 20th 1837 and February 17th 1837 and to the correspondence between the Postmaster General and the chairman of the committee copies of which are annexed to the petition The concluding part of the report of the judiciary committee of January 20th 1837 was as follows That congress intended the award of the Solicitor to be final is apparent from the direction of the act that the Postmaster General be and he is hereby directed to credit such mail contractors with whatever sum or sums of money if any the said Solicitor shall so decide to be due to them c If congress had intended to revise the decision of the Solicitor the Postmaster General would not have been directed to make the payment without the intervention or further p532 action of congress Unless it appeared which is not suggested by anyone that some cause exists which would vitiate or set aside the award between private parties before a judicial tribunal the committee cannot recommend the interference of congress to set aside this award and more especially as it has been made by a high officer selected by the government and the petitioners have been subjected to the trouble and expense of investigating their claims before a tribunal

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0037_0524_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Kent v. Dulles
    petitioners because of their alleged Communistic beliefs and associations and their refusal to file affidavits concerning present or past membership in the Communist Party Held The Secretary was not authorized to deny the passports for these reasons under the Act of July 3 1926 22 U S C 211a or 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 8 U S C 1185 Pp 117 130 a The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which a citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment Pp 125 127 b The broad power of the Secretary under 22 U S C 211a to issue passports which has long been considered discretionary has been construed generally to authorize the refusal of a passport only when the applicant 1 is not a citizen or a person owing allegiance to the United States or 2 was engaging in criminal or unlawful conduct Pp 124 125 127 128 c This Court hesitates to impute to Congress when in 1952 it made a passport necessary for foreign travel and left its issuance to the discretion of the Secretary of State a purpose to give him unbridled discretion to withhold a passport from a citizen for any substantive reason he may choose P 128 d No question concerning the exercise of the war power is involved in this case P 128 e If a citizen s liberty to travel is to be regulated it must be pursuant to the lawmaking functions of Congress any delegation of the power must be subject to adequate standards and such delegated authority will be narrowly construed P 129 f The Act of July 3 1926 22 U S C 211a and 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 8 U

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0357_0116_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Kent v. United States
    jurisdiction with the recitation that this was done after the required full investigation Petitioner was indicted in the District Court He moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the Juvenile Court s waiver was invalid The District Court overruled the motion and petitioner was tried He was convicted on six counts of housebreaking and robbery but acquitted on two rape counts by reason of insanity On appeal petitioner raised among other things the validity of the Juvenile Court s waiver of jurisdiction the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed finding the procedure leading to waiver and the waiver order itself valid Held The Juvenile Court order waiving jurisdiction and remitting petitioner for trial in the District Court was invalid Pp 552 564 a The Juvenile Court s latitude in determining whether to waive jurisdiction is not complete It assumes procedural regularity sufficient in the particular circumstances to satisfy the basic requirements of due process and fairness as well as compliance with the statutory requirement of a full investigation Pp 552 554 b The parens patriae philosophy of the Juvenile Court is not an invitation to procedural arbitrariness Pp 554 556 c As the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held the waiver of jurisdiction is a critically important p542 action determining vitally important statutory rights of the juvenile Pp 556 557 d The Juvenile Court Act requires full investigation and makes the Juvenile Court records available to persons having a legitimate interest in the protection of the child These provisions read in the context of constitutional principles relating to due process and the assistance of counsel entitle a juvenile to a hearing to access by his counsel to social records and probation or similar reports which presumably are

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0383_0541_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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