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Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
Illinois State Board of Elections v. Socialist Workers Party
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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:
The Illinois Election Code required the collection of 25,000 signatures from eligible voters in order for independent candidates or new political parties to appear on the ballot in elections for state offices. With respect to elections for municipal offices, the code required new parties or candidates to collect a number of signatures equal to 5 percent of the total number of votes cast in the most recent municipal election. As applied to the city of Chicago, the code required new candidates to acquire a greater number of signatures for appearance on the municipal ballot than would be necessary to appear on a statewide ballot. The Socialist Workers Party (Plaintiff) filed suit asserting that the Election Code, as applied to elections in the city of Chicago, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The trial court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff. The Illinois State Board of Elections (defendant) petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.
- 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.