Vanderbilt Law Review

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Recent Cases

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The first amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion, although couched in absolute terms, has never been considered an absolute right. The first significant free exercise case, Reynolds v.United States,' upheld the conviction of a Mormon polygamist who claimed a religious exemption from the bigamy laws on the basis of the first amendment. The Court held that while Congress was left powerless to legislate in matters of mere opinion, it was nonetheless" left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order."'

Susan E. Dominick


The instant decision appears to be the first in recent times to invalidate an exercise of federal commerce power because of intrusion upon state sovereignty. Aptly noting that the Supreme Court itself, in Wirtz and Fry, never refused to consider the impact of a federal regulation upon the ability of a state to function in the federal system, the court reaches the eminently logical conclusion that while a showing of interference with state sovereignty per se will not defeat an otherwise valid exercise of federal commerce power, a point does exist on a commerce power continuum beyond which state sovereignty is so seriously impaired that the exercise of the power becomes unconstitutional.

Robert D. Butters


Prompted by the financial difficulties of the Ampex Corporation in 1972,' several investors' in Ampex brought a class action against the corporation, its officers, and its independent auditor for damages suffered from purchasing securities over a two-year period during which Ampex had published numerous allegedly misleading corporate documents, inflating the market price of those securities in violation of Section 10(b) of the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act and Rule 10b-51 promulgated under that Act.

Walter T. Eccard