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1.  No, because the case does not involve a federal question. The federal judicial power extends, by Article III, Section 2, to cases arising under the U.S. Constitution and federal laws. That power does not extend to cases decided solely on state-law grounds. Here, although the Ames due process clause may have mirrored the language of the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause, the state decision was solely based on the Ames courts’ interpretation of the Ames constitution. Since no federal issue was involved, the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction (whether by appeal or by certiorari).

2.  No. In contrast to the prior question, here at least a decision on an issue of federal law (the meaning of the U.S. Constitution) was part of the state court decision. However, the federal judicial power does not extend to Supreme Court review of any state court case for which there is an “independent and adequate state ground. Because Tom’s firing would be unlawful even without any finding that the federal Constitution had been violated (since the state constitution was found to have been violated as well), an independent and adequate state ground exists here. (If the Ames state court decision on the meaning of the Ames constitution’s due process provision had derived in part from the court’s belief that the clause should mean the same thing as it means in the federal Constitution, the state ground would not be truly “independent.” But the facts make it clear that the finding on the meaning of the state constitution here derived solely from Ames state-law sources.)

3.  Yes. The Constitution gives Congress full control over the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts. In fact, these lower federal courts do not even exist until Congress creates them; Article III, Section 1 grants the federal judicial power to the Supreme Court and to “such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” This language has been interpreted to mean that Congress may also define the cases that may be heard by the lower federal courts, and that Congress may do this by refusing to let the lower federal courts hear cases that fall within the general federal judicial power (e.g., cases between citizens of different states).

4.  No, because the statute is valid under the “Necessary and Proper” Clause. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), establishes that when Congress is acting in pursuit of a constitutionally-specified objective, the means chosen merely has to be rationally related to the objective, not “necessary” to the objective’s attainment. Here, Congress is exercising its enumerated power to regulate copyrights. Congress could rationally have believed that even non-profit-motivated transfers of copyright-violating recordings contribute to the general decline of copyright protection, and that felony punishment for such transfers is a reasonable way of combatting the problem. The Court will show great deference to Congress’ choice of the means to attain constitutionally-enumerated objectives, so the statute here will certainly be sustained.

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