By Donald C. Dahlin (auth.)
Dahlin takes an analytical method of current Constitutional scholarship and offers a restricted variety of landmark ultimate court docket judgements in a manner that makes this crucial fabric obtainable to an undergraduate educational audience.
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Extra info for We the People: A Brief Introduction to the Constitution and Its Interpretation
35 Practical Problem Three: What If There Is No Original Understanding?. A third practical problem is that in some instances we may be dealing with important issues today that simply were not considered by the Founders. For example, while the Framers spent much time discussing how the executive would be chosen, what the term of office would be, and similar administrative issues, little thought was given to such contemporary issues as the President’s power to send troops into combat without congressional approval or the President’s power to remove subordinate officials.
30 Applying these considerations to the facts in this case, Justice Brennan concluded that reapportionment decisions did not involve political questions and so were appropriate matters for court review. As to specific examples of political questions, the Supreme Court has often seen political questions in issues involving foreign affairs including the recognition of foreign governments, the validity of Treaties, and the beginning and ending of wars. Issues of constitutional interpretation involving disputes between Congress and the President over the President’s commitment of military force abroad also typically are found to be political questions that the Court, therefore, will not decide.
For example, in 1974 in a case called DeFunis v. Odegaard, DeFunis, a white applicant to a state law school, challenged his failure to be admitted on the grounds that less qualified minority applicants had been admitted under the school’s affirmative action program and thus, DeFunis had been denied equal protection of the laws. The trial judge agreed and ordered his admission. The University complied with this decision but, at the same time, appealed it. By the time the case reached the Supreme Court, DeFunis was in his third year of law school and was sure to graduate.