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Constitutional Law Keyed to Choper
Mathews v. Lucas
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- 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.
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- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
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- 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:
The Lucas children (Plaintiffs) are illegitimate children who were denied survivor’s benefits after their father’s death. Under the Social Security Act, children who are dependent on a parent at the time of the parent’s death are entitled to survivor’s benefits. Under the Act, legitimate children and some classes of illegitimate children are presumed to be dependent, and need not submit proof of dependency when applying for benefits. Other illegitimate children must prove that the deceased was the child’s parent, and that at the time of death the parent was either living with or supporting the child. Plaintiffs proved that the deceased was their father, but were denied benefits because they did not prove that their father was living with or supporting them at the time of his death. Plaintiffs argue that their denial of benefits violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, because other children are entitled to benefits regardless of actual dependency, while they are not.
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