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PolS 359 Student Generated Midterm Questions

Part I [0-5 points].  You must create a unique midterm exam question and post it hereEach student must create their own unique question (essay or short answer or multiple choice or True/False or matching or fill-in-the-blank, etc.,) and each student must post their own question to this page as a COMMENT at the bottom of the page.   You will earn from 0-5 points for your quality of your question.  You must also provide the correct answer to your question. This part of the midterm is worth 0-5 points. You cannot duplicate another student’s question.


  1. Question: In Lane V. Wilson (1940) the court struck down Oklahoma’s attempt to do what because what amendment did it violate?

    Answer: Oklahoma attempted to convince the court to limit the registration window in voting to 12 days. This violated the 15th amendment.

  2. Q: In US v Cruikshank, what case was used as a precedent for the ruling this one?

    A: Slaughterhouse Cases, this was used as a way to lessen civil rights for black Americans.

  3. True/False: Smith v. Allwright asserted that the court should be concerned with primary elections for federal offices, effectively overturning Newberry v. US and weakening Grovey v. Townsend, while US v. Classic expanded the ruling in Smith v. Allwright to state primary elections and overturned Grovey v. Townsend.
    US v Classic and Smith v. Allwright should be switched.
    US v. Classic dealt with primaries for federal offices and overturned Newberry v. US. Smith v. Allwright overturned Grovey v. Townsend by expanding the ruling in Classic to state-level primaries.

  4. List 5 Internal checks of the Supreme Court and 5 External Checks on The Supreme court.
    Internal Checks: 1. Must be able to provide a remedy and give final decisions. 2. Does not give advisory opinions. 3. Judicial Precedent; judicial decisions made are seen as references for future similar cases. 4. The Federal Question Doctrine. 5. The Political question doctrine.
    External Checks: 1. Jurisdiction; both appellate and original. 2. Congress determines when and how the court meets. 3. Senate with a simple majority votes confirms the President’s nominees for a Judge. 4. The court relies on the Executive and Legislative arms of government to enforce it’s decisions. 5. Congress determines the number of Justices, it has remained 9 since 1869.

  5. The significance of U.S. v. Cruikshank 1876 was to establish the distinction between the state and a private actor which led to the beginning of the Jim Crow Era. With what amendment and clause did the court use to establish this distinction?

    A. The 14th amendment & Free Exercise Clause
    B. The 15th amendment & Necessary and Proper Clause
    C. The 9th amendment & The Takings Clause
    D. The 14th amendment & Equal Protection and Due Process Clause
    E. None of the above


    D. The 14th amendment & Equal Protection and Due Process Clause

  6. In the context of POLS 359, which of the following cases is often credited as the “State Action Doctrine” case?

    A) Plessy v Ferguson
    B) Marbury v Madison
    C) Newberry v Herndon
    D) Smith v Allwright
    E) None of the Above

    Answer: E, None of the above. Of all the cases we have learned so far, none of the cased are directly identified as the case most intertwined with the notion of state action. U.S v Cruikshank is most widely credited as the State Action Doctrine case as Cruikshank was an individual, not a state, actor. As Cruikshank acted as an individual actor, the Supreme Court reasoned the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th amendment did not apply to Cruikshank as an individual. Cruikshank’s actions did not constitute state action and the prosecution did not prove his actions had been discriminatory in nature, therefore the charges against him were dismissed by the Court considering the state of Louisiana had declined to charge Cruikshank.

  7. True or False: The Supreme Court only has original jurisdiction because it was established by the constitution in Article III Section 1

    Answer: False because the supreme court also has appellate jurisdiction.

  8. Question: Marbury V Madison (1803) was not about Marbury nor about Madison. The case was actually about Chief Justice John Marshall because he exponentially increased the power of the Supreme Court by establishing the doctrine of judicial review. How was this established? What is judicial review? And where in the constitution is judicial review listed?

    Answer: Chief Justice John Marshall made it up! John Marshall invented judicial review, which is the ability of the Court to declare a Legislative or Executive act in violation of the Constitution. Interestingly enough, despite being the best-known power of the Supreme Court, judicial review is not found within the text of the constitution itself.

  9. Directs a person held in custody to be brought before the court to determine if he or she is being lawfully held is…?

    A) Writ of Certiorari
    B) Writ of Mandamus
    C) Writ of Habeas Corpus
    D) Writ of Error

    Answer: Writ of Habeas Corpus

  10. Short Answer Question: What was the significance of studying the Plessy V. Ferguson 1896 case in POLS 359 a class regarding voting rights and election laws?

    Answer: This case ruled that separate but equal doctrine was constitutional, therefor for the next half century racial segregation was upheld, allowing legal segregation of race in certain facilities. It established a foundation for many cases to come and the results it created for the outcomes of certain cases regarding voting rights and election laws.

  11. True or False
    In Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett, the Supreme Court decided that the 15th Amendment didn’t protect the right to suffrage for women.

    Answer: False, the case where the court decided that the 15th Amendment didn’t protect the right to vote for women was US v. Reese, the case of Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett dealt with the court deciding that the 14th Amendment (the equal protection clause) didn’t protect the right to vote.

  12. Why was Plessy chosen for starting a case against Louisiana in Plessy v Ferguson and what two amendments were used in his arguments?
    A: He was 1/8th black, 13th and 14th.

  13. Match each writ with its correct definition.

    A. Writ of Mandamus
    B. Writ of Habeas Corpus
    C. Writ of Certification
    D. Writ of Error

    1. a method of appeal by which an appellate court orders a lower court to send a case for review of alleged mistakes.
    2. appellate courts may petition for the Supreme Court to clarify a point in federal law.
    3. person in custody to be brought before the court to determine if they are being lawfully held.
    4. ordering lower courts or government officials to either do something or refrain from some action.

    Which one of these writs does the U.S. Supreme Court no longer employ?

    Answer: A – 4, B – 3, C – 2, D – 1, The U.S. Supreme Court no longer employs the writ of error.

  14. List 3 cases dealing with the all-white primary studied in this class and give a brief description of the court’s determination for each.

    • Newberry v. US : The Court ruled that political parties that conducted primaries were private organizations, therefore they could not be regulated by Congress.
      Nixon v. Herndon: Justice Holmes declared that TX could not officially endorse the “white primary” since official endorsement constituted a violation of the 14th Amendment via State Action Doctrine.
      Smith v. Allwright: Court concluded that political parties and party primaries were so regulated by massive state legislation that such action was for all practical purposes “state action.” Meaning, because primaries determine who will be eligible to serve as an elected state official, primaries and political organizations are not acting solely as private organizations but as actors of the State. Determined that all-white primaries were therefore a violation of the 15th amendment.

  15. What was the ruling in Newberry v United States that resulted in the Texas white primary scheme?

    A: Political parties are private organizations and not part of the government election system

  16. Which internal check of the Supreme Court led the justices to determine they had no authority to “wade into the political thicket” in Colegrove v. Green (1946)?

    A. The What-Not Doctrine
    B. Rule of Four
    C. The Political Question Doctrine
    D. Stare decisis
    E. The Federal Question Doctrine

    Answer: C, The Political Question Doctrine

  17. True or False:

    The significance of the case Terry v Adams (1953) is that the court extended U.S. v. Classic 1941 to a “pre-primary” scheme in Fort Bend County, Texas. The Supreme Court rejected the private status claim of the Jaybird Democratic Association and ruled that a primary as well as a pre-primary are both an integral part of the election process and must conform with the 15th amendment.

    Answer: False. In Terry v Adams (1953), the Supreme Court extend Smith v Allwright instead of U.S. v. Classic 1941. In U.S. v. Classic 1941 the Supreme court doesn’t strike down the white primaries completely, they invalidate these in federal elections. This means primaries are allowed in State Elections. However, Smith v Allwright is the landmark case that strikes down white primaries as unconstitutional on grounds of the 15th amendment.

  18. What is an original jurisdiction?

    An original jurisdiction is the authority of a court to try a case in the first instance and give judgement according to the facts and evidence, such as a trial court

  19. What is the Writ of Certiorari?

    It is an order from the superior court to an inferior court to send the entire record of the case to the superior court for review.

  20. Question: What case established that the Grandfather Clause was unconstitutional and which amendment was this clause a violation of?
    Answer: Guinn v United States established that Oklahoma’s Grandfather Clause was unconstitutional because it was a disenfranchisement to black people. This was also a violation of the 15th amendment granting African American men (not all) that right to vote. Noted, that that literacy test were still allowed to be given by states.

  21. What is the implication of the unity of purpose doctrine in regard to the 14th and 13th amendments?
    -That the 14th and 13th amendments were meant to abolish slavery and only that. Neither guarantees that all citizens, regardless of race, should receive equal privileges.

  22. Compare Nixon v. Herndon (1927) and Nixon v. Condon (1932) to Grovey v. Townsend (1935).
    1. What is the major distinction in the facts of Nixon v. Herndon and Nixon v. Condon compared to the facts in Grovey v. Townsend?

    2. Explain why the above distinction is important to the decisions made by the Court.

    3. Identify the case from which the doctrine in part 2 of this question originates.

    1. Nixon v. Herndon and Nixon v. Condon are distinguished from Grovey v. Townsend because they both were held to have state actors because the officials were acting under the color of law. In Grovey v. Townsend, there was no longer a statute authorizing the behavior, and it was done by the private political party organization.

    2. The above distinction is important because of the state action doctrine, which means that the 14th Amendment’s protections do not apply to actions by private individuals or organizations. There was not a state actor in Grovey v. Townsend, so the 14th Amendment’s protections did not apply in that case, which led to the Court upholding the all-white primary scheme at that time.

    3. United States v. Cruikshank (1876)

    It’s slightly modified since I asked it in class earlier, but most of the question stayed the same.

  23. What is is the Plessy v. Ferguson case about, its significance, and what doctrine was used/created from this case?

    Plessy v. Ferguson case stemmed from when Plessy was asked to give up his seat in the train for a white passenger, refused, and was subsequently arrested. The significance is that the court ruled that the 14th amendment’s equal protection under the law clause did not count as the issue was a political or civil rights issue, but related to seating in a railcar, which the train had separate seating for non white passengers. The doctrine that was created/used was the separate-but-equal doctrine.

  24. True or False Question:

    McCollum v. Board of Education was about a woman that sued Board of Education in Champaign, Illinois because they began a program called ” released time” that was related with religion purpose ( time of prayer) in school?

    Answer: True, McCollum was atheist woman that prohibited to her oldest son participated in those classes. As result, her son was verbally abused and tagged at school. Then, McCollum decided sue Board of Education, in order to stop those classes. In her first round at court, she lost the case; then she decided go to the court of appellations where she lost one more time. Then she asked for a U.S Supreme Court review, her case was heard. The U. S. Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment clause was violated and that the program was unconstitutional, giving the victory to McCollum. The court ruled was 8-1.

  25. True or False: States can allow or regulate parties to discriminate against voters, especially on aspects such as race.

    Answer: False. As seen in supreme court cases such as Terry v. Adams and Smith v. Allwright, their verdicts highlighted that (1) Restricting primary voters to whites discriminates against black people and is in violation of the fourteenth amendment, and (2) States may not delegate authority to parties and political parties election machinery that deprives African Americans of their right to vote on basis of color and race. Doing so would attempt to hold the kinds of elections that the fifteenth amendment was enacted to prevent. Instead, clubs and associations that are unregulated or under the authorities of states can establish discrimination since the states have no jurisdiction on who these voluntary “clubs” admit for membership and participation.

  26. Q: Which United States Supreme Court was filed by several electors against the Secretary of State of Michigan over the law Michigan has to allow Michigan to divide up the state into separate congressional districts and award one of the state’s electoral votes the winner of each district?
    A. McPherson V. Blacker
    B. Plessy V. Ferguson
    C. Williams V. Mississippi
    D. Wiley V. Sinkler

  27. Dred Scott v, Sandford (1857) marked the first time since what case that the court used its power to strike down a federal law?

    A. Marbury v. Madison
    B. McCulloch v. Maryland
    C. Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett
    D. U.S v. Cruikshank

    Answer: A. Marbury v. Madison

  28. True or False

    We are all guaranteed the right to vote

    False: We are not guaranteed the right to vote, the U.S Constitution does not guarantee voting rights. Under Article 1, Section 4, it outlines that it gives the state’s responsibility for determining “the times and places of holding elections for Senators and Representatives” and provides that “Congress may at any time make or alter regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators”. So voting rights are still conferred by the state in which you live, but not by the United States or the Constitution.

  29. In 1870, after attempts to feminist the violent rampage of the Ku Klux Klan, Congress passed The Enforcement Act of 1870 which prohibited the use of violence against blacks with intent to steer them away from voting. On 1993, eight white men in Georgia we’re charged under the act with harassing a black men, and trying to intimidate him from voting. The men received two years in prison.

    Fill in the blanks:

    In the case of ____________, the eight men filed a writ of _______ claiming Congress did not have the right to pass the act in the first place.

    A. McPherson v Blacker, writ of mandamus
    B. Williams v Mississippi, writ of certiorari
    C. Ex Parte Yarbrough, writ of habeas corpus
    D. In Re Green, writ of prohibition

    Answer: C

  30. What is the Constitutional question in Virginia Minor vs Reese Happersett and what was the result from this case?

    When going to vote, the application of Virginia Minor, an officer of the National Woman Suffrage Association, was denied based by Reese Happersett based on Missouri’s Constitution which she interpreted to give “only men” the right to vote. She charged of being denied one of the “privileges and immunities of citizenship” of the fourteenth Amendment.

    Was the denial to vote of Virginia Minor, a citizen of the state and the country, a valid exercise of SCOTUS’s power that enforced the Fourteenth Amendment?

    Yes, The fourteenth Amendment says “All persons born or naturalized in the United States… are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” We learn from this case, that this amendment is merely a “membership” to the country but not a determinator of who is a voter and who isn’t, therefore it can’t guarantee voting rights to women. Chief Justice Waite concluded: “the United States has no voters of its own creation,” nor can it “confer the right of suffrage upon anyone.”

  31. Short Answer Question:

    Question: What famous case petitioned for a writ of error with the SCOTUS after making its way through the lower courts, and argued using 13th and 14th Amendment applications? And why is this case significant in the context of this class, Pols 359 Topics in Public Law (Con Law: Black Americans, Voting Rights, and Election Law)?

    Answer: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896); Because Plessy v. Ferguson essentially “emasculated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and relegated all African Americans to positions of second-class citizenship for the next half-century.” (Lyles, 9.27.21). Meaning any “separate but equal,” laws were upheld for the next 50 years, namely in the context of voting rights and election laws. Plessy v. Ferguson set the precedent for future segregation and second-class citizenship treatment to Black Americans in local, state, and national electoral contexts. In the future, Black Americans are denied eligibility to vote based on literacy tests, poll taxes, even the grandfather clause that was almost exclusively specific to African Americans. Furthermore, we see cases in the future where Blacks are denied access to participate in local or state primary elections as early as 1898, in Williams v. Mississippi. This case took place two years directly after Plessy v. Ferguson was decided. It’s safe to say that Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896 set the table for cases like Williams v. Mississippi, and Newberry v. United States to take place as well as many others in order to restrict the Negro’s access to vote.

  32. Which of the cases that we studied established the plenary power of state legislatures to determine how they apportioned their elections, further identifying the power of the state over how they may organize elections?

    A. McCulloch v Maryland (1819)
    B. In Re Green (1890)
    C. McPherson v Blacker (1892)
    D. Ex Parte Yargrough (1884)

    Q. In which case was the Political Question Doctrine first discussed?
    A. Marbury v Madison

  33. Q: In Plessy v Ferguson, the Committee of Citizens asked Homer Plessy, who was seven-eighths caucasian, to contest the Separate Car Act in Louisiana. Plessy was arrested for breaking Louisiana Law since he sat in a “whites only” car of the train. According to Plessy’s lawyers, which constitutional amendment(s) were being violated by the Separate Car Act? Essentially, what was the overall question that was being asked of the court, specifically which clause? How did the court rule and which precedents did this set for future interpretation of the law?

    A: According to his lawyer, the Separate Car Act was in violation of the thirteenth and the fourteenth amendment. The question presented to the court however, was if the Act was in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the fourteenth amendment. The court ruled 7-1; equal but separate accommodations for whites and blacks imposed by the Louisiana Separate Car Act did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the fourteenth amendment.

  34. Two Part: Pick the correct fill-in the blank for part 1 then elaborate on the concept in part 2.

    Question: Footnote 4 of U.S vs Carolene Products Co. (1938) established ______

    A.) The Rational Basis Doctrine
    B.) Strict Scrutiny
    C.) The State Action Doctrine
    D.) All-White Primaries
    E.) Discrete and Insular Minority Doctrine

    Answer Part 1: B.) Strict Scrutiny

    Answer Part 2: Any answer here should mention that strict scrutiny is the highest form of judicial review and only applied when it is found that a constitutional right is being infringed upon. In order to pass the test, the law in question must be justified by having been passed in the pursuit of a “compelling government/state interest”.

  35. Q: In 1872, Virginia Minor had been barred from registering to vote in St. Louis on the basis of a Missouri law that restricted the right of suffrage to men. Charging that she had been denied one of the “privileges and immunities of citizenship” guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. What is the name of the case that addresses this issue, what was the final supreme court ruling, and how did this case impact voting rights for women?

    A: In Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett (1875), the Supreme Court decision held that women could be deprived of the right to vote in the same way as felons. In its decision the Supreme Court declared that the “privileges and immunities” of citizenship are not defined by the U.S. Constitution; thus, individual state’ enfranchisement of male citizens only was not necessarily a violation of the citizenship rights of women. This finding effectively put an end to attempts to win voting rights for women through court decree. Subsequent efforts in the woman suffrage movement in the United States focused on the revision of voting laws of individual states and on the ratification of a separate amendment to the Constitution

  36. What 14th Amendment case concerning due process and equal protection of black citizens under the law is hailed as the greatest affirmative action policy of all time- also leaving in its wake decades of state-sanctioned discrimination policies based on race?
    For extra credit: What scientific law testifies to the precedent set by the court’s ruling in this case?

    A. U.S vs Carolene Products
    B. Giles v Harris
    C. Plessy v Ferguson
    D. U.S vs Rese

    Answer: C
    EC: Newton’s 3rd Law ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’

  37. Does ruling of nonjusticiability ultimately prohibits the issue that brings the case before the court from a resolution in a court of law?

    Marbury vs Madison

  38. Q1: What Amendment eventually overturn Dred Scot ruling?
    A= Thirteen Amendment
    B= Fourteenth Amendment
    C= Fifteenth Amendment
    Answer: B

    Q2: The Slaughterhouse cases brought to the Supreme Court by writs of ……….!
    Answer: Error

    Q3: The “dual citizenship doctrine” for the first time laid out in Cruikshank case where Chief Justice Waite noted that the guarantees of the Bill of Rights were limitations on the national government, not rights that were enforceable against states and private individuals. These rights, for example, the right to bear arms and freedom of assembly, were rights of state citizenship. True/ Falls?
    Answer: Falls, first laid out in Slaughterhouse cases.
    Q4: “separate but equal” doctrine constitutionalized segregation of African American under “Jim Crow” laws. True or Falls?
    answer: true

  39. -Question
    How and why was the “let alone” policy established? What does this tell us about candidates election process? What did this do to the African-American community?

    The “let alone” policy was only in regard to African-Americans in the South. It was established after Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, struck deals with Southern Democrats in agreement to pull federal troops out of the Southern states in exchange for electoral votes and support. Under the Compromise of 1877, Hayes became president. African-Americans were abandoned in the South and the Reconstruction era ended. This shows how the cheat system of politics and elections work and happen without any accountability, because the law-makers are the ones who are breaking the law. It also shows how the democratic legislators’ promises to protect the civil and political rights of African-Americans were not kept. In result, we see how this leads to the disenfranchisement of African-American voters and how it helped the government’s hidden agenda to completely abandon and push back any form of advancement of life in the African-American community. They followed this agenda by allowing discrimination and oppression of African-Americans through passing of Jim Crow laws (Jim Crow era begins) and even more segregation.
    What this did to the African-American community is shrink and suck any form of political engagement and basic citizen rights. In Louisiana, there were about 130,000 African-American voters in 1896. In 1900, only about 5,000 African-Americans were on the registration books. It only took four more years before the number decreased to less than 1,500 voters.

  40. I could not decide on one question that is unique enough or maybe i am overthinking it so here is a few to choose from.

    Q1: The Federal courts have 3 key levels, what are they? and which one/ones were established by congress?
    A1: The three levels are: 1. supreme court, 2. courts of appeal, and 3. district courts.
    Court of appeal and district courts were established by congress

    Q2: Jurisdiction is the authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule legal matters (1) within a particular geographic (which the SC does not concern itself with) and/or (2) over certain types of legal cases. What are the two different types of Jurisdiction we learned? define them. Which one is controlled by congress and is not in the constitution?
    A2: Original Jurisdiction: the authority of a court to try a case in the first instance and give judgement according to the facts and evidence. Appellate Jurisdiction: the authority of the court to review and sustain or reserve the decision of the lower court. The appellate court is NOT in the constitution and is controlled by congress.

    Q3: District courts have _________ jurisdiction. The court of appeal have ________ jurisdiction. Lastly the supreme courts have ___________ jurisdiction.
    A3: Original; Appellate; Both

    Q4: List 2 category of cases that fall under each original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction
    A4: Original Jurisdiction handles disputes between states and disputes between a state and the federal government. While Appellate jurisdiction handle all decisions of federal courts of appeals and all decisions of the highest state court with jurisdiction.

  41. Short answer.

    Please provide the Theory/Doctrine that was established in the 1876 Supreme Court case United States v. Cruikshank. Explain what it consists of and its relevance in the disenfranchisement of African American voters. Include at least one case where the doctrine was used to protect voting suppression.

    A: The Doctrine adopted in United States v. Cruikshank was the “State Action” doctrine, which consists of differentiating the actions of private individuals with state’s actions, diluting the effectiveness of the 14th and 15th amendments in cases of voting suppression of African Americans. The state action doctrine constitutionalized private discrimination which led to numerous victories over the African American suffrage movement, such was the case of Grovey v. Townsend where the court justified the Democratic Party’s efforts to disenfranchise African American voters by stating that political parties were private organizations and no state action was directly involved in the resulted discrimination of the party’s measures.

  42. Justice Holmes once declared that Texas could not officially endorse the “white primary” since official endorsement constituted a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment but found it unnecessary to consider the Fifteenth Amendment was regarding what case?
    A. Nixon v Condon
    B. Grovey v Townsend
    C. Nixon v Herndon
    D. Smith v Allwright

    C. Nixon v Herndon

  43. T/F: Considering the court’s previous rulings in Nixon, Classic, and Grovey, the decision in Lane v. Wilson stands out in the history of Black voting rights because it set the precedent that the discriminatory actions of private individuals could be subject to review of the Court through the use of the State Action Doctrine.

    False. The case that set this precedent was Smith v. Allright.

  44. Q: What was the Supreme Court’s reasoning for their decision in Grovey v. Townsend to allow the Texas all white primaries to continue, and what was one of reasons the court revised this ruling 6 years later Classic v United States?

    A: They followed the decision in Newberry v. United States that established that the primary was not a part of the federal election process. The court believed that the states involvement was not extensive enough to constitute “state action” establishing that the Democratic Party was a voluntary and private organization and therefore not bound to the 14th and 15th amendments. 6 years later in Classic v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that article 2 section 1 of the Constitution secured the right to voted against the action of individuals as well as of the states.

  45. Which Supreme Court case is the first one that the NAACP plays an important role in the cases?

    A. United States vs Hiram Reese
    B. Smith vs Allwright
    C. Guinn. vs the United States
    D. Plessy vs Ferguson

    Answer C

  46. Q: In Marburry V. Madison case what was significant of this decision and how does it play a role in the supreme court?

    Marburry V Madison case established the principle of judicial review, they have the power of the federal courts to declare any executive and legislative acts unconstitutional which means the supreme court has a final say IF a law or amendment goes against the US constitution and can either keep it or strike it down.

  47. Which was the first case to constrain federal enforcement of civil rights due to construing the meaning of the 13th amendment?

    A. Virginia Minor v Reese Happersett
    B. Butchers’ Benevolent Association v. Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co.
    C. United States v. Hiram Reese
    D. McPherson v. Blacker

    Answer : B

    • Nope. So this not true, but I understand your intent. Given the cases we cover in class regarding voting rights and elections laws, the answer from the list you provide would be “B.” But this is not the “first case to constrain enforcement of the….13th Amendment. In U.S. v. Rhodes (1866), Justice Noah Swayne upheld the constitutionality of the 1866 Civil Rights Act under the enforcement clause of the Thirteenth Amendment in the federal courts in Kentucky. And, in In re Turner (1866), Chief Justice Chase used the Thirteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to prohibit the virtual “re-enslavement” of black children under harsh and discriminatory apprentice laws.

      • Thanks for clarifying professor, I was not aware and you are correct I was going off the cases we went over in class. I have re-worded my question below to make it correct.

        Which case covered in class constrained federal enforcement of civil rights due to construing the meaning of the 13th amendment?

        A. Virginia Minor v Reese Happersett
        B. Butchers’ Benevolent Association v. Crescent City Livestock Landing and Slaughterhouse Co.
        C. United States v. Hiram Reese
        D. McPherson v. Blacker

        Answer : B

  48. In his opinion for Plessy v Ferguson, Justice Brown stated that the separation of races on public conveyances did not violate, abridge, or deny what five laws/statutes?

    Answer: (1) The Thirteenth Amendment, (2) the interstate commerce clause, (3) the privileges and immunities clause, (4) equal protection, or (5) due process of the law.

  49. Which of the following United States Supreme Court cases gave states plenary power over how they choose their electors?

    A. Newberry v. United States
    B. McPherson v. Blacker
    C. Guinn v. United States
    D. Pope v. Williams

    Correct Answer: B

  50. Q: In Marbury v. Madison, why did John Marhsall rule section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1784 as unconstitutional and what were the consequences of this action?

    A: It was unconstitutional because the section attempted to expand SCOTUS’s original jurisdiction via a law/act passed by Congress. However, a law/act cannot be more dominant than the constitution and the amendments in it themselves because the constitution is the highest law of the land here in the USA. Consequently, this interpretation and ruling by Marshall caused the first instance of judicial review being used to strike down a section of law (action by Congress) and set the Court’s original jurisdiction in stone and determined by the Constitution only. The only way for SCOTUS’s original jurisdiction to be expanded or reduced would be for Congress to amend the constitution–or more specially, Article 3 of the Constitution.

    • nope. “would be for Congress to amend the constitution.” But Congress cannot amend the Constitution. What is the process to amend the Constitution? Does it not also require the States (2/3, 2/3. 3/4, 3/4)?

  51. Q: In Marbury V. Madison, what did Chief Marshall conclude within congress?

    A: Chief Marshall concluded that the court could neither expand nor shrink the supreme courts original jurisdiction.

  52. Q: In the United States v. Cruikshank, why does SCOTUS assert that the Enforcement Act of 1870 is not a valid argument in this case?

    A: The 14th Amendment says that no state shall deprive any person life, liberty or property without due process law. Therefore, the federal government does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute Cruikshank and the others because they are private citizens of a state.

    • you should mention the “state-action” theory. The Enforcement Act was intended to “enforce” the 14th Amendment” and the intent of the 14th was to prevent State action, not individual action?

  53. Q: Discuss the significance of United States v. Carolene Products (1938). Why is this case relevant to the content of 359?

    A: In United States v. Carolene Products (1938) an opinion was written by Justice Harlan Stone in which footnote four became one of the most significant and important writings in constitutional law. Stone argued the burden of constitutionality as it pertains to legislation dealing with minorities should be placed on the government and not on the victims of the legislation itself. Within this footnote Stone would go on establish a higher form of judicial review known as “strict scrutiny” which would prove relevant to a variety of cases, particularly in those that pertain to the rights of minority groups. This means that in 359 we should be looking at the type of review applied to each case in order to see who had the burden in the case. Under strict scrutiny it is the responsibility of the government to find a prove a compelling state interest and that the enforcement of this interest was the least restrictive means possible, putting all of the emphasis on the government proving constitutionality, not the victim proving discrimination.

    • Good question/response. Put another way:
      In 1937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Georgia poll tax in Breedlove v. Suttles. However, only months after Breedlove came a ray of hope for Black Americans in the little-known case, United States v. Carolene Products (April 25, 1938). The immediate case before the Hughes Court involved the constitutionality of an Act forbidding the shipment of “filled milk” in interstate commerce. Its additional significance, especially for Black Americans, was generated from a footnote in which Justice Harlan Stone argued that the Court was justified in giving “more exacting judicial scrutiny” to policies that transgressed civil liberties. Justice Stone suggested the Court should be concerned with what majorities do to minorities, especially regarding laws “directed at” religious, national, and racial “discrete and insular” minorities and those infected with prejudice against them. According to Justice Stone:

      “There may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality when legislation appears on its face to be within a specific prohibition of the Constitution, such as those of the first ten amendments, which are deemed equally specific when held to be embraced within the Fourteenth.

      It is unnecessary to consider now whether legislation which restricts those political processes which can ordinarily be expected to bring about repeal of undesirable legislation is to be subjected to more exacting judicial scrutiny under the general prohibitions of the Fourteenth Amendment than are most other types of legislation. On restrictions upon the right to vote, on restraints upon the dissemination of information, …on interferences with political organizations, … as to prohibition of peaceable assembly…
      Nor need we enquire whether similar considerations enter into the review of statutes directed at particular religious, or national, or racial minorities, … whether prejudice against discrete and insular minorities may be a special condition, which tends seriously to curtail the operation of those political processes ordinarily to be relied upon to protect minorities, and which may call for a correspondingly more searching judicial inquiry.”

      Carolene Products, while doing no immediate harm to the “separate but equal doctrine,” promised an expanded and more rigorous equal protection standard regarding racial discrimination.

  54. Q: The Supreme Court has two types of jurisdiction. What are they and where are they defined? (Extra for defining the third type of jurisdiction ?)

    A: The Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction. Article III of the Constitution defines that “the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court”, in cases involving disputes between states / between the states and the federal government, cases brought by a state, and cases involving diplomatic personnel. Additionally, the appellate jurisdiction of the Court is also derived from Article III as well as congressional legislation. This gives the court the power to review appellate court decisions, the decisions of the highest levels of state courts that involve federal law, and the decisions of three-judge federal district courts.

    A third type of jurisdiction exists called exclusive jurisdiction, where the court is the sole body that is able to hear certain types of cases. In the instance of the Supreme Court, they are the only court that are able to hear cases involving disputes between states.

  55. In 1940, the Court voided Oklahoma’s racially discriminatory voter registration statute in Lane v. Wilson. The statute stated that those who voted in the 1912 state elections would remain eligible to vote, but those who did not would have to register within a twelve-day period and pass a literacy test in order to vote. Was this statue considered a Grandfather Clause? Why or why not? Cite a SCOTUS case to justify your answer and provide details.

    No, the Grandfather Clause was struck down in Guinn v. U.S. in 1915. In Lane v. Wilson, the State of Oklahoma attempted to circumvent the decision in Guinn by only granting a twelve-day period to those who had not voted in 1912 – not their grandfathers – which would disenfranchise African Amerians for their entire lives if they failed to do so. The Court ruled that this Oklahoma statute was merely a “substitute” for the previously invalidated Grandfather Clause and was invalid under the Fifteenth Amendment. However, the decisions in Guinn and Lane had little impact, as literacy tests, all-white primaries, and other legal devices were used by Southern States for decades in an attempt to restrict and suppress the black vote.

    • “was struck down in Guinn v. U.S. in 1915.” you do not mention any part of the Constitution in your answer? Was it struck down as a violation of the free speech clause or the right to a fair trial? Otherwise, pretty good answer

        • My apologies Professor, I did not see Laabia’s question. If it’s possible to redeem my points this is my alternate question:

          Question: What is the primary difference between the rulings in Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett and U.S. v. Reese, and what is the significance of each?

          Answer: The primary difference between Virginia Minor v. Reese Happersett and U.S. v. Reese case is that in Virginia v. Reese Happersett, the SCOTUS ruled that the “Constitution does NOT confer the right of suffrage upon anyone.” This decision was decided on the grounds of the 14th Amendment, in that the right of suffrage is not protected under the 14th Amendment. The SCOTUS ruled that the privileges and immunities of citizenship are not defined by the U.S. Constitution; thus, an individual states’ enfranchisement of male citizens only (in this case, Missouri) was not necessarily a violation of the citizenship rights of women. This decision put an end to attempts to win voting rights for women, and for African Americans, it verified the Court’s position that “the word citizen” merely referred to “the idea of membership of a nation.”

          In U.S. v. Reese, the SCOTUS ruled on the grounds of the 15th Amendment, not 14th. They ruled that the 15th Amendment (& the Enforcement Act) do NOT confer the right of suffrage but prohibited exclusion on racial grounds. This decision constitutionalized the use of literacy tests, poll taxes, grandfather causes, and all laws designed to disenfranchise blacks. This case undermined black people and their rights included in the 15th Amendment, and also affected women by implication. There was no way for black people to prove that these laws were intended to prohibit them from voting because they were black (facially neutral), although that is precisely what it was. It was merely another loophole created by the Court to suppress and disenfranchise black people for decades to come (until today).

  56. Q: Define the 5 different types of writs and be sure to also define the rule of four.

    (1) writ of certiorari: an order from the superior court to the inferior court to send the entire record of the case to the superior court for review. Litigants must petition the Court for a writ of certiorari, in effect, they ask the Court to hear and decide a legal issue. A decision on the petition is made by the “rule of four” meaning if any 4 of the 9 justices decide to grant the petition or the writ of certiorari, then the case will be taken up for decision, otherwise, the petition is denied and the decision of the lower court stands.
    (2) writ of mandamus: ordering lower courts or public officials to either do something or refrain from some action
    (3) writ of certification: Congress also provides that appellate courts may submit a writ of certification to the Supreme Court requesting the justices to clarify a point of federal law
    (4) writ of habeas corpus: a writ directing a person held in custody to be brought before the court to determine if he or she is being lawfully held.
    (5) writ of error: a method of appeal by which an appellate court orders a lower court to send the case to the higher court for review of alleged mistakes made by the lower court. Matters of law and not of fact are reviewed. The Supreme Court also no longer employs this method.

  57. Question: Explain what the Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) established and the significance of the case.

    Answer: The Slaughterhouse Cases established a “unity of purpose” and “dual citizenship.” The unity of purpose pertained to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments and stated that the goal of the amendments was solely to end slavery and prevent re-enslavement and nothing else. Dual citizenship is when a citizen is guaranteed two separated and distinct rights, one deriving from national and the other from state citizenship. Thus, there are different privileges and immunities that are provided to American citizens and state citizens and they are protected differently as well. The larger repercussions of the Slaughterhouse Cases is that unity of purpose gave rise to Jim Crow laws which discriminated against black people in several sectors of life, including voting. The cases also stated that emancipation did not guarantee anyone equal citizenship, so if someone had an issue with the rights they had, they would need to take it up with their state and not the federal government.

  58. True or False
    In Newberry the Courts ruled that political parties were private organizations. A decision that was later upheld in Nixon v Herdon where the court ruled that because political parties were private “no state action was involved” when an African American was prohibited from voting in a primary. Effectively, allowing Texas to impose a “white primary”.

    – Answer: False. In Newberry the Courts ruled that parties were private organizations. In Grovey, the courts ruled that because political parties were private, “no state action was involved,” therefore political parties can impose an “all-white” primary could be imposed.

    • say what? “True or False
      In Newberry the Courts ruled that political parties were private organizations. … – Answer: False. In Newberry the Courts ruled that parties were private organizations.

  59. True or False: In Guinn v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled all-white primaries to be unconstitutional.

    A: False, the Court found grandfather clauses to be unconstitutional in Guinn.

  60. Q: Nixon v. Condon is to ________ as Rice v. Elmore is to _______
    A: Nixon v. Herndon, Smith v. Allwright

  61. True or False: United States v. Classic challenged the status of the operation of the “primary” itself in relation to state election laws.

    Answer: False; it was in relation to FEDERAL election laws.

  62. Q: The rights of Black people to vote in the South was guaranteed by the United States Supreme Court in its decision outlawing the “Jaybird primary” in what State?

    A: Texas

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