Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Putting Everything Together

Today was a rather normal day compared to yesterday's events. In class today we went over three cases: Youngstown & Tube Co. V Sawyer, Ex Parte Milligan, and my personal favorite, Clinton V. Jones.

Our morning session kicked off to a review of Youngstown & Tube Co. V Sawyer. In this case, numerous labor disputes led the United Steel Workers to call a strike to shut down steel mills. Since steel mills played such an important role during the Korean War during that time, President Truman issued an executive order to forcefully seize and operate the steel mills under the authority of the Secretary of Commerce, Charles Sawyer. The controversial issue that arises in this case is the question on whether President Truman's actions were constitutional under Article II of the Constitution. Youngstown based their arguments to the Supreme Court on the fact that there is no clause within the Constitution that authorizes the president to direct his seizure. While on the other hand, the president based his argument on Article II Sect. II of the Constitution, saying that his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces extends to labor disputes. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that the president's actions were unconstitutional in a 6-3 vote.

Michelle drove the class into a very intelligent discussion as we analyzed the majority opinion that was delivered by Justice Hugo Black. What I loved about Justice Black's majority opinion was that it was straight to the point. He boldly states that the president's decision is unconstitutional since it did not stem from an act of Congress or from the Constitution. Justice Black also blasts the president's claim that he acted under the protection of Article II Sect II by stating that the authority of commander of chief is only necessary in a theater of war. 

Personally, I do side along with the Supreme Court on the decision that Truman's actions were unconstitutional, but I believe that his actions are completely justifiable. The manufacture of steel plays an instrumental role in war, it provides troops with the equipment to fight and when that manufacture comes to a halt, the outcome of a war can change suddenly. I believe that the opening of federally owned steel mills that produced steel solely for military use would make a better remedy to this issue.

During the afternoon session of class, we went over Clinton V favorite. The reason why I love this case is because of its hilarious background. The respondent in this case, Paula Jones, accuses the petitioner, Pres. Clinton, of making repulsive sexual advances towards Jones during Clinton's term as Governor of Arkansas. Sounds like something from a TV show on CBS doesn't it? Wait, it gets steamier. A District Court allows Clinton's request to postpone investigation until the end of his presidency, but while this happens, Tricky Billy sought to invoke his immunity to drop the case against him. The Supreme Court took a step in and unanimously ruled that although these events occurred before Clinton's term as president, he was not entitled to immunity. Why hasn't someone made a movie about this already?

After a brief review of the Clinton V Jones case, Michelle went over the five rules that someone must follow to interpret the Constitution and the two different ways people interpret the Constitution. I personally believe in the living view of the Constitution, the interpretation that the Constitution is able to grow and adapt. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution vaguely, on the basis that it would be able to adapt to the years to come.

The only word that can describe today is, incredible. I feel like I'm actually apart of the class for the first time. I'm starting to get a feel for everything and I'll be ready to bring out that WCCUSD intellect in no time! 

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