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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
City of Boerne v. Flores
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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:
St. Peter Catholic Church is located on a hill in the city of Boerne, Texas, and was originally built in 1923. Recently, because of the growth of its parish, the church decided that it was necessary to enlarge the building. A few months later, the Boerne City Council passed an ordinance authorizing the City’s Historic Landmark Commission to prepare a preservation plan with proposed historic landmarks and districts. Under the ordinance the Commission must pre-approve construction affecting historic landmarks. When St. Peter Catholic Church applied for a permit to enlarge the church, they were denied because they were situated in a historic district. The Archbishop of San Antonio then sued in federal court challenging the permit denial citing the Religious Freedom Reformation Act of 1993 (RFRA). The District Court concluded that by enacting RFRA, Congress exceeded the scope of its enforcement power under the Section: 5, which allows congress to provide for the guarantees of the Fourtee nth Amendment through appropriate legislation. The Fifth Circuit reversed, and Appellant appealed.
- 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.