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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone
Dennis v. United States
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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 Smith Act (the Act) made it a criminal offense for a person to knowingly or willfully advocate the overthrowing of any government in the United States by force or to attempt to commit or conspire to commit the crime the same. The Petitioners were brought up on charges under the Act for allegedly (1) willfully and knowingly conspiring to organize as the Communist Party of the United States, a group whose members advocated the overthrow of the United States government by force and (2) willfully and knowingly advocating and teaching the duty to do the same. It was clear from the record that the leaders of the Communist Party intended to initiate a revolution when the opportunity came. The Trial Court found the Petitioners guilty. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The constitutionality of the statute under which the Petitioners were convicted was challenged.
- 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.