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Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Citation:558 U.S. 310 (2010)
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- 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.
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- 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:
Federal law prohibits corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech defined as “electioneering communication” or speech expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate. Limits on electioneering communications were upheld ind McConnell. The holding of McConnell rested to a large extent on Austin, which held that political speech may be banned based on the speaker’s corporate identity. Here, Citizens United is a nonprofit corporation and has an annual budget of about $12 million. In 2008, Citizens United released a film entitled Hillary, a documentary about then-Senator Hillary Clinton. The film depicts Clinton by name and depicts interviews with political commentators and other persons. Citizens United wanted to make Hillary available through video-on-demand within 30 days of the 2008 primary elections but feared that it would be covered by the federal ban on corporate-funded independent expenditures.
- 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.