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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Zobel v. Williams
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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 1967, Alaska discovered large oil reserves on state owned land, which resulted in substantial income for the state. In order to efficiently utilize this income from the mineral reserves, the state amended its constitution to include the Permanent Fund to be used as a depository for at least 25% of the income each year. “The amendment prohibits the legislature from appropriating any of the principle of the fund but permits use of the fund’s earnings for general governmental purposes.” A dividend program was created by the legislature in 1980, which provided annual distributions to the State’s adult residents. The Appellants, Ronald M. Zobel and Patricia L. Zobel (Appellants), residents of Alaska since 1978, brought this suit in 1980. The suit challenged the dividend distribution plan as violative of their right to equal protection guarantees and their constitutional right to migrate to Alaska, to establish residency their and therefore to enjoy the full rights of Alaska citi zenship on the same terms as all other citizens of the state. Particularly, the Appellants challenge the preference given to people who were residents when Alaska became a state in 1959 over all those who have arrived since that year. The Alaska Supreme Court determined that the statute was constitutional.
- 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.