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Constitutional Law Keyed to Choper
United States R.R. Retirement Bd. v. Fritz
Citation:449 U.S. 166, 101 S.Ct. 453, 66 L.Ed.2d 368 (1980).
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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.
- 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:
Congress passed the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (the Act), which restructured the previously established retirement system. Under the old system, employees who were eligible for both railroad benefits and social security benefits received both, plus an additional “windfall” benefit.
In contrast, the Act divided employees into different classes based on their employment history as of January 1, 1975. Employees who had worked for the railroad less than 10 years would not receive any windfall benefit. Employees who were already retired and receiving the full benefits would continue to do so. Employees who qualified for the full benefits but had not yet retired would receive the full benefits only if they had a current connection to the railroad industry or had served for 25 years or more. Employees who did not meet these requirements received a lesser windfall benefit.
Fritz was a former railroad employee who was eligible for the windfall benefits under the old system, but who did not have a current connection to the railroad and had worked fewer than 25 years. He argued that the Act created an irrational distinction between employees that violated the Due Process Clause.
- 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.