Questions and Answers:
The residents of State Y, located near the Canadian border, began complaining to elected officials that illegal immigrants were
crossing the Canadian border and straining scarce State Y recourses when many of the immigrants attempted to obtain
medical care in State Y medical clinics and hospital emergency rooms. In an attempt to resolve the problem, the state enacted
a statute making it illegal for nonUS
residents to be treated in state medical facilities. Another part of the statute authorized
the immediate hiring of 100 new health care workers, also providing that only persons who had graduated from a high school
in State Y would be eligible to apply for the new health care positions.
In a challenge to the constitutionality of the first part of the statute excluding nonUS
residents from being treated in state
medical facilities, which of the following would be the best challenge?
A The Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
B The reserved powers of the state under the Tenth Amendment.
C The laws enacted by Congress affecting the status of aliens.
D The Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause.
Paul applied for a job with city government as a computer systems administrator. City ordinances provided that all city
employees were on probationary status for the first six months of their employment, during which time they could be
discharged for any reason whatsoever. These ordinances also stated that after six months of full time employment for the city,
an employee gained “permanent” status, which meant, among other things, that the employee could only be discharged “for
good cause.” Paul was hired by the city and began working fulltime.
After five and onehalf
months, Paul was discharged. His
supervisor came into Paul’s office at the end of the workday and said, “Paul, I’ve decided to let you go. Your computer work is
competent, but you aren’t able to interact effectively with other city personnel. Please give me your keys and clean out your
If Paul challenges his termination from city employment in an appropriate legal action as a violation of his constitutional right
to due process of law, the court should rule for
A Paul, because government employees must be given some kind of notice and opportunity to respond to a job termination prior to the
time the government takes such action.
B Paul, unless the city provides him with a fair postdischarge
hearing at which he can contest the factual issue regarding his ability to
interact with other city employees.
C the city, because under the circumstances the supervisor’s actions were sufficient to meet any constitutional requirements as to due
D the city, if the need to prevent Paul from harming the city’s computer system in retaliation for his termination justified not providing him
with notice and an opportunity to respond prior to that termination.
- Your Choice: blank legislature of State enacted a statute providing that persons whose last names began with letters “A” through “L” could
drive an automobile only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and that persons whose last name began with any other letter or
symbol could only drive on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday was designated a “no driving” day, and the statute
contained exceptions for lifethreatening
emergencies. In addition, specified types of business were exempted from the
limitations, such as bus and taxi companies. The preamble to this legislation stated that it was intended to redress
air pollution by reducing the amount of automobile driving in the state. Delivco, a corporation which operates delivery trucks
entirely within a major city in the state, challenged the driving statute in state court on grounds that to require it to schedule
certain of its employee drivers for specified days of the week, while permitting bus and taxi companies to schedule any driver
for any day of the week, violated the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause.
Judgment in this case should be for
A Delivco, if the economic cost imposed on companies who cannot use employee drivers on certain days substantially outweighs the
benefit to the state of cleaner air from reduced driving.
B Delivco, but only if it can show that no rational person would believe that prohibiting driving by specified persons on certain days would
have the effect of reducing air pollution.
C The state, if it can demonstrate any rational connection between its statute and a legitimate government interest.
D The state, if it shows that the statute burdens private interests no more than is necessary to carry out its asserted purpose.
State X enacted a statute requiring all alcoholic beverages sold within State X “must be sold by a retailer holding a valid State
X license to sell alcohol and all licenses must own or lease a distillery, warehouse, office or other physical location in State X.”
Vinter, a small winery located in State Y, applied for but was denied a license to sell alcoholic beverages in State X because it
had no physical presence in State X.
If Vinter brings suit asserting the license denial was unconstitutional, it is most likely to succeed under which of the following
A The Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
B The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
C The Substantive Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
D The Commerce Clause.
Several states had enacted statutes defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman only, and prohibiting any
relationship between samegender
partners being classified or treated as a marriage. The first such statute to be challenged in
federal court was struck down as an unconstitutional violation of the fundamental rights of homosexual couples by the United
States District Court hearing the suit. A month later, Congress enacted the Judicial Efficiency Act, which among other things
contained the following provision: “Marriage being a matter traditionally regulated by the states, the Supreme Court of the
United States shall have no jurisdiction to review on appeal any decision involving the constitutionality of a state statute
defining or regulating marriage.”
State X recently enacted a statute defining marriage so that two persons of the same gender could not be married to each
other. Bob and Ted, two men who lived in State X and desired to be married, challenged the constitutionality of the statute in
State X courts on grounds that it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The
highest appellate court of State X ultimately ruled that the challenged statute was constitutional. Bob and Ted petitioned for a
writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Assuming that the justices of the Supreme Court otherwise wish to grant certiorari and hear Bob and Ted’s constitutional
claims, is this precluded by the relevant provision of the Judicial Efficiency Act?
A Yes, because Congress may make “exceptions” to the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
B Yes, because removing the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction over state marriage statutes does not violate the Constitution’s
guarantee of an independent federal judiciary.
C No, if the congressional limitation on the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction is itself a violation of due process or equal protection.
D No, because it would violate the separation of powers doctrine to permit Congress to remove an entire class of cases from the
jurisdiction of the federal judiciary.
Sonny was the illegitimate child of Pops. Although Sonny had confronted Pops and Pops had admitted that Sonny was indeed
his child, Pops had never formally acknowledged Sonny to be his son. Pops died intestate, leaving no surviving heir other than
Sonny. The State of Aurora, where Pops had lived the remaining few years of his life and where all of his property was located,
had a statute which provided that an unacknowledged illegitimate child may not inherit property from his father. The statute
provided that if there were no heirs other than the illegitimate child remaining, then the property was to escheat to the state.
Sonny filed suit in an appropriate court alleging that the State’s statute barring an illegitimate child from inheriting from his
father is invalid and that he should be declared the lawful heir to Pops’ estate.
In challenging the validity of the State’s statute Sonny’s strongest argument would be that:
A It violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
B It is a denial of due process because it does not give the unacknowledged illegitimate child an opportunity to prove paternity.
C He has been deprived of property without due process because his fundamental right to inherit has been compromised without a
compelling state need.
D There is no important government reason for preferring collateral relatives or the state as heirs over unacknowledged children, and
therefore the law violates the Equal Protection Clause.
Original fact pattern: Sonny was the illegitimate child of Pops. Although Sonny had confronted Pops and Pops had admitted that Sonny was
indeed his child, Pops had never formally acknowledged Sonny to be his son. Pops died intestate, leaving no surviving heir other than Sonny.
The State of Aurora, where Pops had lived the remaining few years of his life and where all of his property was located, had a statute which
provided that an unacknowledged illegitimate child may not inherit property from his father. The statute provided that if there were no heirs
other than the illegitimate child remaining, then the property was to escheat to the state. Sonny filed suit in an appropriate court alleging that
the State’s statute barring an illegitimate child from inheriting from his father is invalid and that he should be declared the lawful heir to Pops’
The State of Aurora’s strongest defense of the statute would be that:
A A statute prescribing the means of disposing of the property of intestate decedents does not constitute invidious discrimination.
B Inheritance under intestate succession laws is a privilege, not a right, and therefore is not protected as property under the Due Process
C The State’s interest in promoting family life is important and refusing to allow a child to inherit when the biological father failed to
formally acknowledge that child is substantially related to that end.
D The authority of a state over the disposition of decedents’ property located in the state is not affected by the Constitution of the United
A federal statute provides public funds to any public or private school which agrees to offer specified courses in science,
mathematics and related subjects. Applicant schools must identify the courses that they intend to offer and provide
information regarding the curriculum to be covered, the qualifications of the instructors who will teach the courses, and the
materials to be used. The federal statute also requires that the applicant school certify that it will not discriminate in
employing instructors for the courses funded with federal money on the basis of race, religion, gender, disability or sexual
Priv College, a privately owned school offering bachelors degrees in various subjects, applied for federal funds so that it could
offer engineering courses specified in the federal statute which had not previously been part of Priv’s curriculum. All the
necessary information was contained in Priv’s application, and it was otherwise eligible, but Priv refused to certify that it
would not discriminate in employing instructors for the funded courses on the basis of sexual orientation. Priv’s application
stated that the administration of the college believed homosexuality to be immoral and that Priv would never knowingly
employ a homosexual person in any position.
Priv’s application for federal funds under the statute was denied. This action by the federal government was
A unconstitutional, because no fundamental constitutional right has been identified which protects homosexual orientation.
B unconstitutional, because the owners and employees of Priv cannot be compelled to associate with persons to whom they have serious
C constitutional, so long as the nondiscrimination requirement of the federal statute is reasonable and is related to the government
interest being furthered by the federal funding program.
D constitutional, but only if the nondiscrimination requirement is substantially related to an important government interest.
The City of Metropolis has a very diverse ethnicity; there are large communities of EuropeanAmerican,
Latino, Armenian, Jewish, AsianAmerican
and Native American persons living there. The ten city council members are elected
districts within Metropolis. While the various ethnic groups in Metropolis once lived in compact,
homogeneous areas, over the years the residential housing patterns of the city have become much more integrated, so that no
single district among the ten city council districts contains a majority of voters whose ethnicity is other than EuropeanAmerican.
In order to insure that the diversity of the city continue to be reflected in the membership of the city council, that
body redrew the council districts by identifying the ethnicity of each voter’s household and then establishing district lines
based on a mathematical formula which would provide the maximum number of districts in which one or more nonEuropeanAmerican
ethnic groups comprise a clear majority of that districts voters.
Paula, a EuropeanAmerican,
challenged the new city council district lines in an appropriate action, claiming that the city
council’s redistricting violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. At trial of this action, it was
established that the total population of Metropolis is 58 percent EuropeanAmerican,
and that the new district lines created six
new city council districts in which EuropeanAmerican
voters were a majority of all voters.
What will be the probable outcome of Paula’s lawsuit?
A The city will win, because Paula cannot claim injury under the Equal Protection Clause when a redistricting results in a 58 percent
population controlling 60 percent of the newlydrawn
B The city will win, because it was acting to insure that the voting power of minority populations was not diluted by geographical
C Paula will win, because it is impermissible to draw electoral district lines based solely on race.
D Paula will win, but only if she can show that the city council acted out of motives of racial animosity toward one or more ethnic groups.
The State of X imposes a tax on the income of any person domiciled in that state. The amount of the tax is determined as a
percentage of the income the domiciliary receives. The state constitution requires that state government have a balanced
budget, that is, expenditures authorized by the legislature in its annual budget bill cannot exceed projected revenues.
Projecting a shortfall of state income for the next fiscal year, the state legislature imposed a one percent surcharge on the
income of all domiciliaries who were not citizens of the United States. Guy, a citizen of Switzerland who was admitted for
permanent residence in the United States and whose domicile was in State X, refused to pay to State X tax authorities the one
percent surcharge on his income. State X prosecuted Guy under a statute making it a criminal offense to willfully refuse to pay
taxes owed to the state.
If Guy asserts as a defense in this prosecution that the one percent tax surcharge is invalid, and thus he does not owe it to the
state, the court should rule
A for Guy, since to tax aliens a greater amount than citizens for the same income constitutes a denial of the equal protection of the laws.
B for Guy, because a tax based solely on alienage intrudes into foreign policy concerns, an area of exclusive federal authority.
C for the state, because the state constitutional mandate to balance state government income and expenditures is an interest of the
D for the state, because payment of taxes is an essential attribute of participation in the political process.