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Take home exam. 3 cases not to be more then 6 total pages - Essay Example

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In Charles River Bridge1 the Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, held that the state of Massachusetts, in its act of 1783 incorporating of the Charles River Bridge Company to construct a bridge across the Charles River and collect tolls, did not grant an implicit monopoly to the…
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Take home exam. 3 cases not to be more then 6 total pages
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Download file to see previous pages 10 (par. 1)2, of the Constitution.3
The Court’s majority opinion (delivered by Chief Justice Taney) found for the defendants (Warren Bridge proprietors). After first citing the relevant language in Court’s prior holding in Satterlee v. Matthewson (27 U.S. 380, 1829)—“If the State law is said to be retrospective, be it so. But retrospective laws which do not impair the obligation of contracts or partake of the character of ex post facto laws are not condemned or forbidden by any part of the instrument [Constitution of the United States] (Id., at 413)”—and admitting quite candidly that the free passage character of the Warren Bridge had rendered the Charles River Bridge franchise of no value, stated that nonetheless the complainants’ saw “None of the faculties or franchises granted to that corporation … revoked by the Legislature, and its right to take tolls granted by the charter remains unaltered [36 U.S. 430, at 549].”
Of greater import than the specifics of the case in question was the thinking of the Court on the implications of a decision in favor of the complainants. Chief Justice Taney addressed these in a series of rhetorical questions and answers. “And what would be the fruits of this doctrine of implied contracts on the part of the states and of property in a line of travel by a corporation if it were now sanctioned by the Court? To what results would it lead us to? If it is to be found in the charter to this bridge, the same process of reasoning must discover it in the various acts which have been passed within the last forty years for turnpike companies. And what is to be the extent of the privileges of exclusion on the different sides of the road… The millions of property which have been invested in railroads and canals upon lines of travel will be put in jeopardy [Id., at 552].”
Justice Story argued in dissent. While he detailed a number of points at ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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