Confirm favorite deletion?
Criminal Law Keyed to Lee
Elonis v. United States
Citation:135 S.Ct. 2001 (2015)
Only StudyBuddy Pro offers the complete Case Brief Anatomy*
Access the most important case brief elements for optimal case understanding.
*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:
Elonis was an active user of Facebook. After his wife left him, he changed his Facebook name to “Tone Dougie” and began to post rap lyrics. It included graphically violent language and imagery. He included disclaimers that the lyrics were fictional with no resemblance to real persons. He posted that his writing was therapeutic for him.
However, these posts frequently included crude, degrading, and violent material about his soon to be ex-wife, including an illustrated diagram of her home and stating that it would be easy to fire a mortar launcher at her house. He was also fired from his job after posting a picture of himself holding a knife against a co-worker’s throat. He posted several more violent lyrics mentioning others.
A grand jury indicted Elonis for making threats to injure patrons and employees of the park he was previously employed at, police officers, his estranged wife, a kindergarten class, and an FBI agent, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c). Elonis requested a jury instruction that “the government must prove that he intended to communicate a threat.” The District Court denied that request, instead instructing the jury that the government needs to prove only that a reasonable person would regard petitioner’s communications as threats. He was convicted of four of the five counts.
Elonis appealed, arguing that the jury should have been required to find that he intended his posts to be threats. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgement.
- 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.