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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Obergefell v. Hodges
Citation:576 U.S. 644 (2015)
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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 Petitioners were fourteen same-sex couples from Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee who sought to get married. The petitioners challenged state laws that defined marriage as between a man and a woman and denied them the right to marry (or have their marriage recognized even if it was lawfully performed in another state) as violating the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The named plaintiffs in this case, James Obergefell and John Arthur, were a same-sex couple who wished to get married before Arthur passed away from ALS. The couple were residents of Ohio but wed in Maryland. When Arthur passed away, Ohio did not recognize his marriage to Obergefell and did not recognize Obergefell as Arthur’s surviving spouse on his death certificate.
- 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.