Bar Exam (US) Constitutional law: Question below is based on the following fact situation. North...

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Question below is based on the following fact situation.

North Berlin, an industrial town with a population of 100,000, is located on the north side of the Germantown River. On the south side of the river is situated South Berlin, a rural community with a population of 40,000. For many years, various civic groups have urged that both communities merge into one township with a single governmental body. Independent studies have indicated that such a merger would result in an enormous tax savings to the residents of both municipalities by eliminating the duplication of services. On one previous occasion, proponents of the merger plan succeeded in having the proposal appear as an election referendum in each community. Although the merger referendum passed in North Berlin by a sizable margin, the voters of South Berlin rejected the measure, fearing the combined government would be dominated and controlled by its neighbor's larger representation.

In order to alleviate the concern of South Berlin voters regarding underrepresentation in a merged governmental system, the respective city councils of both municipalities appointed a steering committee to formulate a new proposal. Accordingly, the steering committee devised a merger scheme wherein the city council of Berlin, the united city, would consist of eight members. Within this proposed new system of government, each former municipality would be divided into four districts. With respect to North Berlin, each district would consist of 25,000 persons and each would have one elected city council member. By the same token, South Berlin would be divided into four elective districts with each containing 10,000 residents. One city council member would be elected from each of these districts as well. The mayor would be elected at large by a popular vote of all residents in the newly created eight districts.

Before this merger proposal was placed on the ballot, the state attorney general issued an advisory opinion stating that the measure did not, in her opinion, violate any statutory or constitutional provisions. Thereafter, the "Berlin Proposal," as it came to be known, was placed on the ballot and was overwhelmingly passed by the voters in both North Berlin and South Berlin. After the election but before the merger had officially been carried out, two taxpayers from North Berlin initiated suit to enjoin the unification, attacking the constitutionality of the disproportionate representative districts.

Assume for the purposes of this question only that the plaintiffs' suit reaches the state supreme court, and that the court rules that the "Berlin Proposal" establishing a unified city entity was constitutional under both the state and the federal constitutions. The plaintiffs now file a motion seeking to have this case reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court should

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    hear the federal issues involved, but decline to rule on the state issue
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    not hear the case, but have it remanded to federal district court
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    not hear the case, because it was decided on independent state grounds
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    rely on the advisory opinion rendered by the state attorney general and not hear the case on its merits
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