LEGL 2700 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Commerce Clause, Supremacy Clause, Contract Clause

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Chapter Six
Structure of the Constitution
o Article I: sets up congress
o Article II: sets up executive branch
o Article III: sets up judiciary system
o Article IV:
Full Faith and Credit Clause:
Different states have to respect one another’s laws and judicial
Privileges and Immunities Clause
With few exceptions, states cannot discriminate against out of state
o One exception is tax payer funded service (such as tuition)
Ex: there cannot be different speed limits for in state vs out of state
o Separation of Powers
Federalism: division of power between state and federal government
10th ammendment: all powers that are not delegated to federal government
is reserved for the states
Elections/voter ID laws reserved to states
Police powers reserved to states
Supremacy Clause:
Article VI
Federal law is generally supreme over state law
State laws cannot contradict federal laws
Federal law completely superceeds any state law
Certain areas states cannot do anything with that law, states have
no rights to regulate it
o Contract Clause: No state shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts
What does that mean?
You cannot pass a law that retroactively goes back to change or
modify a contract that is already in existence
They can modify future contracts; ex. “all future contracts regarding xxx
must yyy”
No state or local government; the federal government can pass laws
violating this principle
o Commerce Clause: Generally gives congress/federal government power to
regulate business activity in the US
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