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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
City of Ladue v. Gilleo
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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:
An ordinance of the Petitioner prohibits homeowners from displaying any signs on their property except “residence identification” signs, “for sale” signs, and signs warning of safety hazards. The Respondent owns a single-family home and placed on her front lawn a sign printed with the words “Say No to War in the Persian Gulf, Call Congress Now.” After the Respondent’s sign disappeared and a subsequent one was knocked down, she reported the incidents to the police. The Respondent was informed that the signs were prohibited and the City Council denied her petition for a variance. The Respondent then filed an action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging Petitioner’s sign ordinance violated her First Amendment constitutional right of free speech. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ordinance and the Respondent then placed a sign in the second story window of her home stating “For Peace in the Gulf.” The Petitioner responded to the injunction by r epealing its ordinance and enacting another one containing a general prohibition of “signs” and defining the term broadly. The new ordinance included a prohibition of window signs. The Respondent amended her complaint to challenge the new ordinance and the District Court held the ordinance unconstitutional as a “content-based” regulation. The Court of Appeals affirmed concluding that Petitioner’s interests in enacting its ordinance were not sufficiently compelling to support a “content-based” restriction.
- 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.