Brief Summary 2

These assignments are designed to help you interpret court opinions from the perspectives of the justices who wrote them, and to form a more detailed understanding of the legal issues involved.Edwards v. Aguillard

supreme court decision”

Each brief, which should be no longer than one single-spaced page and should be in 12 point font, should include the following (not necessarily in this order, but the brief must read as a logical progression of the information offered):

  • Title and Citation: e.g. Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch (5 U.S.) 137 (1803); United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).
  • Facts of the Case: A brief summary of the relevant facts of the case, the law or action whose constitutionality is challenged, and why this challenge is being made.
  • Procedural history of the case: the decisions of the lower courts, and identity of the party appealing the case.
  • Legal question(s) presented: The legal questions/issues raised in the case.
  • Votes and authors: Number of majority and dissenting justices; identity of the authors of all opinions. The course text does not print all of this information; however, you are responsible for locating all of this information and including it in your brief. Note that Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable for such information.
  • Holding of the case: Answers to the legal questions presented.
  • Majority’s reasoning: A summary of the reasoning offered by the majority.
  • Separate opinions: If the course text excerpts any of these opinions, then a summary of the justices’ reasoning is required.

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