KC Johnson

Final IDs

Some of the five-point ID answers:

Child labor amendment: proposed Constitutional amendment wghich would have given federal government the power to regulate child labor; amendment brought about due to Supreme Court decisions which limited state and federal authority to interfere with business and freedom of contract. Amendment failed for several reasons: parent groups and religious groups were against government intrusion in the lives of families; states balked at relinquishing power to the federal government; state laws and amendment limited child labor, making federal amendment redundant; judicial deference to government regulation allowed federal government to pass a law limiting child labor.

Rumford Act: California law that banned racial discrimination in buying housing: you cannot refuse to sell property to someone due to person’s race. People of California were unhappy with the law because they felt government was interfering with their right to sell their property to anyone for any reason. Led to Proposition 14, which overturned Rumford Act. Short-lived victory because US Supreme Court stated that Prop 14 violated the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

Youngstown v. Sawyer: When Truman, by executive order, seized several steel plants to prevent a strike, he argued its necessity in protecting steel production for the Korean War effort, which was an undeclared war. Truman’s action had the force of law, but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, as it is Congress that has the power to legislate, not the executive. This was a blow to the “imperial presidency,” and a restoration of law after WWII. War powers could not extend that far, and Truman had other recourse through statute (Taft-Hartley).

Erie RR v. Tompkins: A case dealing with diversity jurisdiction in which the court applied federal common law instead of the relevant state laws or a federal statute. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no provision in the Constitution for federal common law, which was simply an uncodified ruling by previous courts. The Supreme Court’s ruling out an end to a centuries’ old practice in dealing with diversity jurisdiction.

Abe Fortas: An associate justice from 1965-9, when he resigned after being nominated to be chief justice, because of incidents which brought his ethical character into question, along with his alleged connection to shady financial dealings. Fortas was questioned for his receipt of $15,000 for a speech at a law school, which wasn’t paid out by the school but rather by companies. The money amounted to 40% of his salary, and was looked upon as a potential conflict of interest. Fortas was also connected to a shady Wall Street firm which allegedly wanted to pay him $20,000 annually for life so he could secure for the firm’s leaders a presidential pardon if they were convicted [in a pending fraud case].

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