Federalism Court Cases


The following are exercises to help you learn more about important Supreme Court Cases relevant to federalism. For each, you should read and record the following:
1. Introduction, background or summary of case.
2. Court Decision (i.e. 5-4, unanimous, etc.)
3. What justice wrote the majority or per curiam opinion.
4. Why is this case significant for the ongoing redefinitions of federalism?



o Marbury v. Madison,

o When Jefferson (R) is elected, Adams appoints as many to the judiciary bench as he can before losing power. Jeffersonian Republicans repealed the Judiciary Act of 1800, which had served to create new judgeships and circuit courts with Federalist judges, and threatened impeachment if the Supreme Court overturned the repeal statute. When Jefferson becomes president, he refuses to honor the appointments of Adams. Marbury, one of the appointees, sues James Madison, the Secretary of State, in the Supreme Court.
o No decision made w/ votes. Court says that Marbury should have received his shit, but that the court can’t issue a writ of mandamus because the power to issue mandamuss was given to them by congress illegally according to the constitution.
o John Marshall
o Because it gives the S.C. power to judge acts of congress to be unconstitutional.
6. Printz v. United States


a. Congress passed the Brady Act (named for President Reagan\'s Press Secretary, who was permanently wounded during the assassination attempt on the President) to impose a national background check system on all gun sales. The Act had the Attorney General establish, before the end of 1998, a national system for checking the criminal records of prospective gun purchasers. Until such a system could be implemented, however, the Act made state officers conduct the background checks. Unless the gun purchaser already possessed a state handgun permit issued after a background check or the state already had in place a system for an instant background check at the time of sale, the Act imposed certain duties (backed up by criminal sanctions) on the chief law enforcement officers of the purchaser\'s residence to determine whether the prospective purchase would be in violation of federal law.


b.


c. Justice Scalia


d. This case is important for the meaning of federalism because it establishes the