United States v. National Treasury Employees Union (1995)


Purpose: In order to gain practice understanding legal jargon, students will review court cases and summarize the facts from the case in a brief. Writing briefs will also help the deepen the students’ understanding of specific issues affecting public administration.

Topic: In Chapter 2 (Rosenbloom), you learned about the constitutional context of public administration. One topic detailed in the chapter included First Amendment Rights and how they apply to public employees. Three cases were mentioned that addressed this topic:
• Rankin v. McPherson (1987)
• United States v. National Treasury Employees Union (1995)
• Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois (1990)

Instructions: Choose one of the above court cases and research the case. Then, compose a brief summarizing the case. The brief should be no more than two pages and ideally should be one. For this class, your brief should maintain the following structure and categories:

Title of Case (Case No.)

FACTS: Remember to make the facts about four sentences. Remember to make them the RELEVANT facts to the case.
ISSUE: The issue is the question of the case.
RULE: The rule is why we even read the case usually a direct answer to the question.
APPLICATION: The application is the reason we have this rule. It is usually an
explanation of how a law is interpreted. It may discuss precedent or use an analogy.
CONCLUSION: The conclusion is how the case was resolved.

Below are links to websites with sample briefs. This class uses the IRAC method. Other methods may have different acronyms but the concepts are all the same. What happened? What is the question of the case? Why is it decided this way?
• http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/brief.html
• http://www.cjed.com/brief.htm
• http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_1/
• http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/constitutional-law/constitutional-law-keyed-to-stone/equality-and-the-constitution/brown-v-board-of-education-of-topeka-brown-i/

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