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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
United States v. Cruikshank
Citation:92 U.S. 542 (1875)
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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:
In a local Louisiana election in 1872, members of local Democratic and Republican parties claimed to have won the offices of judge and sheriff in Grant Parish, Louisiana. The Republican faction (comprised of free African-American citizens) seized a courthouse, but they were ambushed by a white militia which brutally massacred members of the Republican party as they tried to escape the courthouse (this was known as the “Colfax Massacre”). The U.S. Attorney in Louisiana attempted to prosecute the members of the white militia, including the defendant William Cruikshank, under the Civil Rights Act of 1870. Specifically, the charges against Cruikshank alleged that the militia had interfered with the victims’ constitutional rights to assemble peacefully (under the First Amendment) and bear arms (under the Second 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.