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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Branzburg v. Hayes
Citation:408 U.S. 655 (1972)
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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:
A daily newspaper in Kentucky ran a story written by the Petitioner Branzburg that described the process of making hashish from marijuana. The article featured a picture of a pair of hands working over a lab table with hash on the table. When the Petitioner was subpoenaed by a grand jury, he refused to identify the individuals who made the hash. A state trial court judge ordered the Petitioner to reveal the identity of the individuals, and the Petitioner answered that it was his First Amendment right not to reveal their identity.
The journalists argued that in order to gather news, it is often necessary to conceal the source of the information published; if a reporter is forced to reveal the source’s identity, they and other reporters will be deterred in the future from publishing information that requires confidential sources, and that would be detrimental to the free flow of information protected under the First Amendment.
- 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.