US v. Morrison, Gonzalez v. Raich, South Dakota v. Dole
How To Brief A Case For Class Preparation
1. Full name of the case and the court it originated in along with the date of decision
2. procedural history: when was it decided originally, when was it appealed and what was the result of that decision? When was it heard by the US Supreme Court?
3. Facts of the case: What are the facts that brought the case to court the first time and what was the decision that led to this appeal?
4. Issue: What is the major constitutional issue in the case? The Supreme Court only reviews issues of law – not of fact, so this has to be a legal issue.
5. Holding: What did the Court decide about the issue? “we hold that……” is usually included in the case somewhere. Do not put “overruled” or “upheld” as your response here – that does not tell you anything – what was the actual holding?
6. Rationale: Why did the Court make this decision? After the “we hold that….” Statement …. Usually there is an explanation that follows. Which Justices voted in the majority? Which ones voted in the dissent? Is there a concurrence?
7. What is the significance of the holding? And what are the major issues in the dissent and/or concurrence?
8. Why is this case important in understanding Constitution Law?