R 4:45-7:15American Constitutional Law Case Briefs
Mistretta v. United States
Citation. 488 U.S. 361, 109 S. Ct. 647, 102 L. Ed. 2d 714 (1989)
Summary: John M. Mistretta (Petitioner) took the United States to court over the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 adopted by congress because he felt it was unconstitutional. The act created guidelines for sentencing.
Rule of Law: The “intelligible principle test” means that the legislative action is not an abuse of legislative power as long as the act by Congress includes an intelligible principle that the person its delegated to must conform.
Facts: Mistretta was indicted on three counts on the selling of cocaine at the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Mistretta had it moved because he felt that Congress delegated excessive authority to the Sentencing Commission to structure guildelines was unconstitutional.
Issue. Is the act by Congress of delegating sentencing guidelines power to the Sentencing Commission unconstitutional?
Held. No. The Act included sufficient guidelines for the Commission to follow.
Discussion. The Act was an constitutional delegation by the power of Congress because it was more than a “intelligible principle.”
INS v. Chadha
Citation. 462 U.S. 919, 103 S. Ct. 2764, 77 L. Ed. 2d 317, 1983 U.S. 80.
Summary. The Congress was authorized through the Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act to make the rulings of the Attorney General invalid suspending the deportation rulings. The House of Reps. Instead suspended the immigration judges deportation ruling in regardsto Chadha.
Synopsis: Bicameralism and presentment are required for actions by the House that effect duties, relations of people outside of the legislative branch.
Facts: Chadha was asked why he shouldn’t be deported during a hearing and the judge suspended his deportation because Chadha would go through “extreme hardship” if he was deported. The Congress has the power to...