Legal Writing 3

Supreme Court Cases Worksheet


Please answer the following questions: (These questions can also be found on Page 34 of your textbook)


1. What was the holding (the central decision) of Griswold v. Connecticut?


2. What were the arguments of the two attorneys in Roe v. Wade?


3. Was Griswold used as precedent in Roe?


4. What was the issue (legal question before the court) in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey?


5. What were the arguments of the two attorneys in Casey?


6. Was Roe used as precedent in Casey?


7. What are the differences among majority, plurality, concurring, dissenting, per curiam, and en banc court decisions?


8. What is a “court of last resort”?


9. Give an example of mandatory authority for federal courts and for the courts of your state.


10. Give an example of persuasive authority for federal courts and for the courts of your state.


11. One of the issues before the Court in U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co. v. Braspetro Oil Services Co., 369 F.3d 34 (2d Cir. 2004), was whether the sureties were liable for $36,700,000 in attorneys’ fees under the contract provision obligating the sureties to pay “legal costs.” According to the Court, did the contract term legal costs include attorneys’ fees? What was the court’s reasoning?



12. Muscarello v. United States, 540 U.S. 31 (1998), consolidated two cases that involved a federal statute imposing a mandatory five-year prison term for anyone who “uses or carries a firearm” during an illegal drug offense. In one case, the firearm was in a locked glove compartment and in the other case the firearm was in the trunk of a car. What was the issue, and what was the holding? What was the Court’s reasoning?

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