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Court Case Notes

Each of the 50 cases is presented as a brief -- or an outline of the specifics of a case -- in order to help the reader digest the most important facts. To brief a case, the following categories have been used:

Case – What is the name of the case? Where can the full case record be found? In what year was the case decided?

Facts – What are the key issues between the central parties of the case? What happened that is of legal significance?

Issue – What are the central legal issues the court must decide in order to arrive at a decision?

Holding – What did the court decide?

Reasoning – Why does the court decide the way it does? What is its logic and analysis of the facts?

For every case, a quote from the majorityopinion has been provided. Wherever it seems helpful and/or noteworthy, an excerpt from a dissenting opinion has also been given. These quotes have been provided to allow the reader to hear directly from the judges, and better understand how a legal argument is framed.

It is important to note that the cases that follow are not meant to be the definitive list of First Amendment school cases. Rather, the cases were chosen to help readers understand how the courts apply the First Amendment in a school setting. Although the list is not exhaustive – especially in the lower courts – these 50 cases are essential for understanding how First Amendment law has evolved in America 's public schools.

Finally, remember that lower court decisions have limited precedent . That means the ruling of one lower court does not necessarily bind other lower courts. A court is bound only by the decisions of higher courts that have direct jurisdiction over it. Because it is the highest court in the country, however, all courts must follow precedent established by the United States Supreme Court.



Last updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 | 16:38:45