Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

You will write Case Briefs of specified U.S. Supreme Court cases following the IRAC format. The Case Brief will be 500–1,000 words. There are no outside sources; only brief the case as reported by the U.S. Supreme Court, and use the citation provided in the correlating module/week assignment.

When “briefing” a case, grasp the problem the court faced (the issue),identify the relevantlaw the court used to solve it (the rule), analyze how the court applied the rule to the facts, and write out the outcome (the conclusion). This prepares you to both discuss the case and to compare it to other cases involving a similar issue.

Before attempting to “brief” a case, read the case at least once.

Follow the “IRAC” method in briefing cases:

Facts:Write a brief summary of the facts as the court found them. Eliminate facts that are not relevant to the court’s analysis.

Procedural History: What court authored the opinion? The United States Supreme Court? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals? If an appellate court issued the decision, how did the lower courts decide the case?

Issue:What is the question to be decided on by the court? Usually, only 1 issue will be discussed, butsometimes there will be more. What are the parties fighting about, and what are theyasking the court to decide?

Rule(s):Determine what the relevant rules of law are that the court uses to make its decision.These rules will be identified and discussed by the court. What rule must the court apply to the factsto determine the outcome?

Application/Analysis:This may be the most important portion of the brief. The court will have examined thefacts in light of the rule and should consider all “sides” and arguments presented toit. How courts apply the rule to the facts and analyze the case must be understood in order toproperly predict outcomes in future cases involving the same issue.

Resist thetemptation to merely repeat what the court said in analyzing the facts; what does it meanto you? Summarize the court’s rationale in your own words.

Conclusion:What was the outcome of the case? In 1–2 sentences, state the court’s ultimate finding.At the end of your brief, detail if you agree with the court’s holding or not and why.


Chapter nine:   Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1 (2010).

With every right should come an equal responsibility.  The First Amendment to our Constitution holds rights that we hold sacred, to include the rights to freedom of speech and the rights to freedom of association.  But, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes has been quoted for almost 100 years: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”  Your assignment for this module/week is to brief – Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. 1 (2010). At the end of your brief, detail if you agree with the Court’s holding or not and why.

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