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Constitutional Law Keyed to Maggs
City of Boerne v. Flores
Citation:521 U.S. 507 (1997)
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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 Archbishop of San Antonio applied for a building permit for construction to enlarge a church in the parish. City authorities, relying on a historical-preservation ordinance, denied the application. The Archbishop brought suit, relying on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The City contended that the Act exceeded the scope of Congress’s power under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Congress enacted RFRA in direct response to the Court’s decision, which held that neutral, generally applicable laws may be applied to religious practices even when not supported by a compelling government interest. The RFRA prohibits government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability unless the government can demonstrate that burden is in furtherance of a compelling government interest; and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
- 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.