Overview: For the final project for this course, you will be writing a legal analysis research paper based on a judicial decision of historical importance. (See the Final Project Document for more information.) In Milestone Two you traced the pathway your chosen case followed to reach the Supreme Court. In this milestone, you will submit a critique of the decision in your chosen case. The critique should discuss the final decision rendered by the Court in the case, as well as the type of judgment given (e.g., summary judgment, dismissal, remand, resolution). The critique should also discuss how well the decision reflects an accurate interpretation of the Constitution, what (if any) judicial philosophy is evident in the court’s decision, and whether the decision was unanimous or contained concurrences and/or dissents. Finally, discuss any precedents invoked by the court in rendering its decision. By completing this assignment, you will demonstrate the following skills that employers may be looking for:

• Closely reading for important details

• Analyzing the potential social and political impacts of decision-making

• Critically evaluating an argument

• Arguing a position using logic and evidence

Prompt: The following critical elements will be addressed in this submission:

IV. Critique (Instructions): Analyze the decision of the case.

A. What is the decision of the final court in this case? What type of judgment was given (for example, summary judgment, dismissal, remand, or

resolution)? Explain.

B. Is the decision an accurate judicial interpretation of the Constitution? Why or why not?

C. What (if any) judicial philosophy is evident in the majority opinion?

D. Were there concurring or dissenting opinions in the case?

E. Analyze the use of past precedents in the legal rationale used for this judicial opinion. What was the controlling law in the decision?


Guidelines for Submission: The Case Decision Critique should follow these formatting guidelines: double-spaced Word document, 2–3 pages in length, not including title page and references, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, APA format, and a minimum of two scholarly peer-reviewed articles.

Case I chose which you have already written an analysis for in Module One:

Board of Education of Independent School District #92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls (2002)




You may use other sources, but they must be “scholarly” sources, such as from Harvard, Columbia University, or governments and academic sources.

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