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Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
Lawrence v. Texas
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
In Houston, Texas, Harris County Police officers were dispatched to a private home in response to a reported weapons disturbance. They entered (the right to enter does seem to have been questioned) the home where John Geddes resided, and observed Lawrence and another man, Tyron Garner, engaging in a sex act. The men were arrested, held over night and charged with violating a Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct. Specifically the statute provided “A person commits and offense if he engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex” and goes on to define deviate sexual intercourse as follows: “ any contact between any part of the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person or the penetration of the genitals or the anus of another person with an object”. The two men were then convicted before a Justice of the Pease.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.