Posted: January 11th, 2023
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Make a case study for Marbury V. Madison (1803)
Steps to briefing a case:
Case name and Date
1. brief should begin with the case name, the court that decided it, the year it was decided, and the final vote.
2. Identify the case facts.
Next, briefly state the facts of the case. This section is necessary because legal principles are defined by the situations in which they arise. Include in your brief only those facts that are legally relevant. A fact is legally relevant if it had an impact on the case’s outcome.
3. Outline the procedural history. With the statement of facts, you have taken the case to the point at which the plaintiff filed suit. The next section of the brief, the procedural history, begins at that point and ends with the case’s appearance in the court that wrote the opinion you are reading. For a SCOTUS opinion, describe how the trial court and, if applicable, the lower appellate court decided the case and why.
4. Issues, Holding, Rationale
This is the opinion of the majority on the Supreme Court. Note the author of this opinion.
Give each issue a sub-number: 4.1.1, 4.2.1, 4.3.1, etc. Explain the issue in the form of a question.
Give each holding a sub-number: 4.1.2, 4.2.2, etc. Explain the holding in terms of a Yes or No.
Give each rationale a subnumber: 4.1.3, etc.
You now should describe the court’s rationale for each issue and holding. This section of the case brief is the most important, because you must understand the court’s reasoning to analyze it and to apply it to other fact situations, such as those on the exam. Describe each link in the court’s chain of reasoning, and provide textual evidence with a citation (page number/ paragraph #). Use the file I attached below for your textual evidence..
E.g. 4. Marshall
4.1.1. Is Marbury entitled to his commission?
4.1.3. A valid federal judicial commission must be appointed by the President and signed and
sealed by the Secretary of State. Marbury’s commission meets these requirements (48/4).
5. Include other opinions.
Concurring and dissenting opinions are included in a casebook when they present an interesting alternative analysis of the case.
You should provide at least a sentence for each concurrence and dissent. Other opinions do not each have to be as detailed as the ruling of the court in #4, but there should be textual evidence. Use the file I attached below for your textual evidence..
Give each other opinion a sub-number and note author and the type of opinion (concurrence/dissent).
E.g. 5.1 (Souter, concurrence):
5.2 (Scalia, dissent):
In a couple sentences, explain the enduring significance of the case for broader jurisprudence and give your opinion.
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