Write a case brief on the U.S. Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor (1989).
Introduction to the case: what is it about? Why is it important? Make sure you introduce the case including the case number. What Constitutional ground does the case pertain to?
Facts of the case: be specific about what happened in the case; describe the procedural history of the case—what happened at the trial level, at the appellate level?
Issue: what is the issue before the Court? Be specific. This should be a statement that clearly identifies what issue the Court is addressing in the case.
Holding: what did the Court decide? List the vote count among the justices. Who comprised the majority and delivered the opinion? Do not put only “affirmed” or “reversed” as the holding. Describe exactly what the Court decided. The Court may write “we hold that…” or “we find…” The holding is normally written at the end of the case.
Rationale: What was the majority’s rationale? Did they base their opinion on a previous case? If so, what was the case (list the case number and the opinion of the case)? Who dissented with the majority and the reason they disagreed. What was the Court’s rationale for their decision? Who dissented and why? Describe all differing opinions among the justices. Did the decision overturn a previous Court decision on this issue? If so, what were the case (cite the number) and the rationale for overturning this case?
Significance: how did this case change the work of law enforcement officers or the criminal justice system? Why is it important that we study the specifics of the case. Describe cases that built on your case’s decision. Be sure to include the case number and what the case was about.