Who Can Rule That a State Law Is Invalid and Unconstitutional
A New York law requiring a utility to provide its service in such a way that all of its facilities had to be rebuilt at a price at which no return could be obtained below established rates deprived the utility of its ownership without due process. A provision of the Oregon Constitution prohibiting judicial review of the amount of punitive damages awarded by a jury, unless the court can confirm that there is no evidence of the verdict, is invalid under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Judicial review of the amount granted was one of the few procedural safeguards provided by the common law, but Oregon waived this guarantee without providing for an alternative procedure and without any indication that the risk of arbitrary advantage had diminished. The Supreme Court first heard the annulment of United States v. Peters, 9 U.S. (5 Cranch) 115 (1809) in 1809.  The Court rejected the idea of annulment. The Pennsylvania legislature had passed a law that was supposed to overturn a federal court`s decision. The Pennsylvania law found that the federal court acted unconstitutionally because it lacked jurisdiction and that the federal court`s decision was “null and void.” The Supreme Court ruled that the Pennsylvania legislature did not have the power to overturn the Federal Court`s decision, stating: “If the legislatures of individual states can at will overturn the judgments of the courts of the United States and destroy the rights acquired by those judgments, the Constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery, and the nation is deprived of means.
enforce their laws through their own courts. A South Carolina law that regulates the sale of liquor exclusively in state dispensaries unconstitutionally discriminates against interstate commerce when applied to a resident who imports alcohol out of state. An Alabama law that subjected foreign companies to an annual franchise tax on business operations levied at $2 for every $1,000 of capital employed in the state violated both Section I, Section 10, Part 2, which prohibits state import duties, and the business clause when applied against a foreign company whose only business in Alabama was landing. Storage and sale of goods imported from abroad in their original packaging. A Virginia law terminating a privilege granted to bondholders under a previous law to offer coupons of those bonds for the payment of taxes affected the contractual obligation (art. I, § 10). A Pennsylvania gross income tax on utilities, to the extent that it is levied on a domestic company`s gross revenues from the transportation of people and goods on the high seas, is in conflict with the exclusive federal authority to regulate foreign and interstate commerce. The Virginia Act of 1867, which provided that in lawsuits to enforce contracts for the sale of goods negotiated during the Civil War and payable in Confederate notes, the value of the land at the time of sale and not the value of those tickets at that time was to be compromised, affected the obligation arising from the contracts (art.
I, § 10). Northern states attempted to block enforcement of the federal pro-slavery laws of 1793 and 1850 in the mid-19th century. Several northern states passed personal liberty laws that had the practical effect of undermining the effectiveness of federal laws on fugitive slaves and preventing slave owners from rescuing fugitives. For example, a Pennsylvania law enacted in 1826 criminalized the forcible expulsion of a black person from the state with the intent to detain or sell them as slaves. An Oklahoma law purporting to be an ad valorem tax on corporate property, levied in the form of a three-percent gross income tax, calculated as a percentage of gross income from all sources, both interstate and federal, in the case of express transportation companies doing interstate business, which is the share which its Oklahoma operations bear in its total activity, was void within the meaning of the application addressed to these express companies. The tax was levied on inter-State trade and, contrary to due process, was levied on real estate in the form of investment income and bonds outside the State. 377. State Tax Comm`n v. Interstate Natural Gas Co., 284 U., p. 41 (1931).
An Illinois law that denied Illinois courts jurisdiction to hear claims of wrongful homicide in another state, which was interpreted as excluding jurisdiction to bring actions based on a judgment of a sister state based on a similar ground, was applied as is and violates the full faith and credit clause. An Illinois mortgage moratorium which, applied to a mortgage negotiated before its adoption, reduced the recourse of the mortgage lender by granting a new right of repayment to a defaulting borrower affected a contractual obligation contrary to Article I, § 10. A Texas law that withholds state funds from local school districts for the education of children who have not been legally admitted to the United States and allows authorities to deny enrollment to those children denies the same protections of the laws. A levy formula for state legislation enshrined in the state constitution is invalid under the equality clause, even though voters approved it in a referendum. If a particular federal law implicitly prohibits states from enacting or enforcing laws that would interfere with certain federal objectives, and Congress has the constitutional power to impose that limitation on state law, then the supremacy clause would require the courts to pay attention to it.