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
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.
Monday, May 20, 2013 | 11:59:51