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Constitutional Law Keyed to Varat
McCreary County, Kentucky v. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky
Citation:545 U.S. 844, 125 S.Ct. 2722, 162 L.Ed.2d 729 (2005).
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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:
Defendants posted the Ten Commandments on the walls of their courthouses. After being challenged in court, Defendants created more extensive displays meant to show that the Commandments were Kentucky’s “precedent legal code” which was also challenged. On its third attempt, Defendants included with the Commandments framed copies of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner, the Mayflower Compact, National Motto, Preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, and a picture of Lady Justice. Plaintiffs filed suit and challenged this third attempt, arguing the display still violated the Establishment Clause of 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.