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Constitutional Law Keyed to Varat
Gonzales v. Raich
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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 1970, Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act to combat illegal drug use in the United States. Shortly after, Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) which categorized illegal drugs into different “schedules” and prevented their sale, purchase, and possession in the United States. In 1996, California enacted the Compassionate Use Act that allowed the use of medical marijuana within the state by persons needing it for legitimate medical purposes.Angel Raich and Diane Monson (Plaintiffs) were California residents who both legally used marijuana to treat legitimate medical issues. Despite receiving approval from California state officials, federal agents seized and destroyed Raich’s marijuana plants.Raich brought this suit against Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States (Defendant), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief prohibiting the enforcement of the federal CSA. The court of appeals ruled that the CSA was an invalid exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power, and Defendant appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
- 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.
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- 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.
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