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  • Marbury v. Madison
    conferred on him a legal right to the office for the space of five years Having this legal right to the office he has a consequent right to the commission a refusal to deliver which is a plain violation of that right for which the laws of the country afford him a remedy To render a mandamus a proper remedy the officer to whom it is directed must be one to whom on legal principles such writ must be directed and the person applying for it must be without any other specific remedy Where a commission to a public officer has been made out signed and sealed and is withheld from the person entitled to it an action of detinue for the commission against the Secretary of State who refuses to deliver it is not the proper remedy as the judgment in detinue is for the thing itself or its value The value of a public office not to be sold is incapable of being ascertained It is a plain case for a mandamus either to deliver the commission or a copy of it from the record To enable the Court to issue a mandamus to compel the delivery of the commission of a public office by the Secretary of State it must be shown that it is an exercise of appellate jurisdiction or that it be necessary to enable them to exercise appellate jurisdiction It is the essential criterion of appellate jurisdiction that it revises and corrects the proceedings in a cause already instituted and does not create the cause The authority given to the Supreme Court by the act establishing the judicial system of the United States to issue writs of mandamus to public officers appears not to be warranted by the Constitution It is emphatically the duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is Those who apply the rule to particular cases must of necessity expound and interpret the rule If two laws conflict with each other the Court must decide on the operation of each If courts are to regard the Constitution and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature the Constitution and not such ordinary act must govern the case to which they both apply At the December Term 1801 William Marbury Dennis Ramsay Robert Townsend Hooe and William Harper by their counsel p138 severally moved the court for a rule to James Madison Secretary of State of the United States to show cause why a mandamus should not issue commanding him to cause to be delivered to them respectively their several commissions as justices of the peace in the District of Columbia This motion was supported by affidavits of the following facts that notice of this motion had been given to Mr Madison that Mr Adams the late President of the United States nominated the applicants to the Senate for their advice and consent to be appointed justices of the peace of the District of Columbia that

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0005_0137_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Marsh v. Alabama
    December 6 1945 Decided January 7 1946 1 A state can not consistently with the freedom of religion and the press guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendment s impose criminal punishment on a person for distributing religious literature on the sidewalk of a company owned town contrary to regulations of the town s management where the town and its shopping district are freely accessible to and freely used by the public in general even though the punishment is attempted under a state statute making it a crime for anyone to enter or remain on the premises of another after having been warned not to do so Pp 502 505 p502 2 Whether a corporation or a municipality owns or possesses a town the public in either case has an identical interest in the functioning of the community in such manner that the channels of communication remain free P 507 3 People living in company owned towns are free citizens of their State and country just as residents of municipalities and there is no more reason for depriving them of the liberties guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendment s than there is for curtailing these freedoms with respect to

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0326_0501_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Marsh v. Chambers
    Amendment and seeking injunctive relief The District Court held that the Establishment Clause was not breached by the prayer but was violated by paying the chaplain from public funds and accordingly enjoined the use of such funds to pay the chaplain The Court of Appeals held that the whole chaplaincy practice violated the Establishment Clause and accordingly prohibited the State from engaging in any aspect of the practice Held The Nebraska Legislature s chaplaincy practice does not violate the Establishment Clause Pp 786 795 a The practice of opening sessions of Congress with prayer has continued without interruption for almost 200 years ever since the First Congress drafted the First Amendment and a similar practice has been followed for more than a century in Nebraska and many other states While historical patterns standing alone cannot justify contemporary violations of constitutional guarantees historical evidence in the context of this case sheds light not only on what the drafters of the First Amendment intended the Establishment Clause to mean but also on how they thought that Clause applied to the chaplaincy practice authorized by the First Congress In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment it would be incongruous to interpret the Clause as imposing more stringent First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government In light of the history there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society To invoke divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not in these circumstances a violation of the Establishment Clause it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country Pp 786 792 b Weighed against the historical background

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0463_0783_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Martin v. Hunter's Lessee
    the granted territory and the power to impose taxes on the persons and property of its inhabitants for the public and common defence of the colony as well as a general jurisdiction over the patentees their heirs and assigns and all other inhabitants of the said territory In the enumeration of privileges specifically granted to the patentees their heirs and assigns is that freely and without molestation of the King to give grant or by any ways or means sell or alien all and singular the granted premises and every part and parcel thereof to any person or persons being willing to contract for or buy the same There is also a condition to avoid the grant as to so much of the granted premises as should not be p309 possessed inhabited or planted by the means or procurement of the patentees their heirs or assigns in the space of 21 years The third and last of the letters patent referred to 4 Jac II after reciting a sale and conveyance of the granted premises by the former patentees to Thomas Lord Culpepper who was thereby become sole owner and proprietor thereof in fee simple proceeds to confirm the same to Lord Culpepper in fee simple and to release him from the said condition for having the lands inhabited or planted as aforesaid The said act of assembly then recites that Thomas Lord Fairfax heir at law of Lord Culpepper had become sole proprietor of the said territory with the appurtenances and the above recited letters patent By another act of assembly passed in the year 1748 Rev Code v 1 ch 4 p 10 certain grants from the crown made while the exact boundaries of the Northern Neck were doubtful for lands which proved to be within those boundaries as then recently settled and determined were with the express consent of Lord Fairfax confirmed to the grantees to be held nevertheless of him and all the rents services profits and emoluments reserved by such grants to be paid and performed to him In another Act of Assembly passed May 1779 for establishing a land office and ascertaining the terms and manner of granting waste and unappropriated lands there is the following clause viz vide Chy Rev of 1783 ch 13 s 6 p 98 And that the p310 proprietors of land within this Commonwealth may no longer be subject to any servile feudal or precarious tenure and to prevent the danger to a free state from perpetual revenue be it enacted that the royal mines quit rents and all other reservations and conditions in the patents or grants of land from the crown of England under the former government shall be and are hereby declared null and void and that all lands thereby respectively granted shall be held in absolute and unconditional property to all intents and purposes whatsoever in the same manner with the lands hereafter granted by the Commonwealth by virtue of this act 2d As respects

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0014_0304_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Martin v. Wilks
    a litigation in which he is not designated as a party or to which he has not been made a party by service of process Hansberry v Lee 311 U S 32 40 Pp 761 762 b Under ordinary application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure a party seeking a judgment binding on another cannot obligate that person to intervene he must be joined Rule 24 governing intervention is cast in permissive terms Rule 19 a provides for mandatory p756 joinder in circumstances where a judgment rendered in the absence of a person may leave persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring inconsistent allegations and Rule 19 b sets forth the factors to be considered by a court in deciding whether to allow an action to proceed in the absence of an interested party Joinder as a party rather than knowledge of a lawsuit and an opportunity to intervene is the method by which potential parties are subjected to the jurisdiction of the court and bound by a judgment or decree The linchpin of the impermissible collateral attack doctrine the attribution of preclusive effect to a failure to intervene is inconsistent with Rules 19 and 24 Pp 763 765 c Neither Penn Central Merger and N W Inclusion Cases 389 U S 486 nor Provident Tradesmens Bank Trust Co v Patterson 390 U S 102 is authority for precluding respondents from challenging the actions taken under the consent decrees Pp 765 766 d Even if there were some merit to the argument that the need to join affected parties would be burdensome and ultimately discouraging to civil rights litigation acceptance of that argument would require a rewriting rather than an interpretation of the relevant Federal Rules In any event the difficulties in identifying those who would

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0490_0755_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Maryland v. Craig
    initially is questioned in the defendant s presence and that before using the one way television procedure the trial court must determine whether a child would suffer severe emotional distress if he or she were to testify by two way television Held 1 The Confrontation Clause does not guarantee criminal defendants an absolute right to a face to face meeting with the witnesses against p837 them at trial The Clause s central purpose to ensure the reliability of the evidence against a defendant by subjecting it to rigorous testing in an adversary proceeding before the trier of fact is served by the combined effects of the elements of confrontation physical presence oath cross examination and observation of demeanor by the trier of fact Although face to face confrontation forms the core of the Clause s values it is not an indispensable element of the confrontation right If it were the Clause would abrogate virtually every hearsay exception a result long rejected as unintended and too extreme Ohio v Roberts 448 U S 56 63 Accordingly the Clause must be interpreted in a manner sensitive to its purpose and to the necessities of trial and the adversary process See e g Kirby v United States 174 U S 47 Nonetheless the right to confront accusatory witnesses may be satisfied absent a physical face to face confrontation at trial only where denial of such confrontation is necessary to further an important public policy and only where the testimony s reliability is otherwise assured Coy supra at 1021 Pp 844 850 2 Maryland s interest in protecting child witnesses from the trauma of testifying in a child abuse case is sufficiently important to justify the use of its special procedure provided that the State makes an adequate showing of necessity in an individual case Pp 851 857 a While Maryland s procedure prevents the child from seeing the defendant it preserves the other elements of confrontation and thus adequately ensures that the testimony is both reliable and subject to rigorous adversarial testing in a manner functionally equivalent to that accorded live in person testimony These assurances are far greater than those required for the admission of hearsay statements Thus the use of the one way closed circuit television procedure where it is necessary to further an important state interest does not impinge upon the Confrontation Clause s truth seeking or symbolic purposes Pp 851 852 b A State s interest in the physical and psychological wellbeing of child abuse victims may be sufficiently important to outweigh at least in some cases a defendant s right to face his or her accusers in court The fact that most States have enacted similar statutes attests to widespread belief in such a public policy s importance and this Court has previously recognized that States have a compelling interest in protecting minor victims of sex crimes from further trauma and embarrassment see e g Globe Newspaper Co v Superior Court 457 U S 596 607 The Maryland

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0497_0836_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Maryland v. Wilson
    under the Fourth Amendment The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed holding that the rule of Pennsylvania v Mimms 434 U S 106 that an officer may as a matter of course order the driver of a lawfully stopped car to exit his vehicle does not apply to passengers Held An officer making a traffic stop may order passengers to get out of the car pending completion of the stop Statements by the Court in Michigan v Long 463 U S 1032 1047 1048 Mimms held that police may order persons out of an automobile during a traffic stop emphasis added and by Justice Powell in Rakas v Illinois 439 U S 128 155 n 4 Mimms held that passengers have no Fourth Amendment right not to be ordered from their vehicle once a proper stop is made emphasis added do not constitute binding precedent since the former statement was dictum and the latter was contained in a concurrence Nevertheless the Mimms rule applies to passengers as well as to drivers The Court therein explained that the touchstone of Fourth Amendment analysis is the reasonableness of the particular governmental invasion of a citizen s personal security 434 U S at 108 109 and that reasonableness depends on a balance between the public interest and the individual s right to personal security free from arbitrary interference by officers id at 109 On the public interest side the same weighty interest in officer safety is present regardless of whether the occupant of the stopped car is a driver as in Mimms see id at 109 110 or a passenger as here Indeed the danger to an officer from a traffic stop is likely to be greater when there are passengers in addition to the driver in the stopped car On the personal

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0519_0408_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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  • Maryland v. Wirtz
    States and their subdivisions with respect to employees of hospitals institutions and schools Appellants 28 States and a school district sought to enjoin enforcement of the Act as it applies to schools and hospitals operated by the States or their subdivisions They argued that the enterprise concept of coverage and the inclusion of state operated hospitals and schools were beyond Congress power under the Commerce Clause that the remedial provisions of the Act if applied to the States would conflict with the Eleventh Amendment and that school and hospital enterprises do not have the statutorily required relationship to interstate commerce A three judge district court declined to issue a declaratory judgment or an injunction and concluded that the adoption of the enterprise concept and the extension of coverage to state institutions do not on the face of the Act exceed Congress commerce power That court declined to consider the Eleventh Amendment and statutory relationship contentions Held 1 The enterprise concept of coverage is clearly within the power of Congress under the Commerce Clause Pp 188 193 a A rational basis for Congress finding the scheme necessary to the protection of commerce was the logical inference that the pay and hours of employees of an interstate business who are not production workers as well as those who are affect an p184 employer s competition with companies elsewhere United States v Darby 312 U S 100 followed Pp 188 191 b Another rational basis is the promotion of labor peace by the regulation of wages and hours subjects of frequent labor disputes Pp 191 192 c The class of employers subject to the Act approved in Darby supra was not enlarged by the addition of the enterprise concept P 193 2 The commerce power provides a constitutional basis for extension of the

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0392_0183_ZS.html (2012-11-09)
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