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Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
United States v. O’Brien
Citation:391 U.S. 367 (1968)
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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:
In 1966, David O’Brien and three companions burned their Selective Service registration certificates on the steps of the South Boston Courthouse. For this act, O’Brien was indicted, tried, and convicted and sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He did not contest the fact that he burned the certificate. He stated that he burned it publicly to influence others to adopt his antiwar beliefs so that other people would reevaluate their positions with Selective Service, with the armed forces. O’Brien was charged with violating the Universal Military Training and Service Act of 1948 that criminalizes a person who forces, alters, knowingly destroys any 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.