Cooper v. Aaron, 358 US 1 (1958) case brief


Does your brief have all 5 sections? Is the proper case citation at the top of your brief?

(Underlined, Bolded or Italicized case name, Case Number (4 digit Case Year)). For example:

Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954) OR Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954) OR Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954)


Take note of the facts of the case. Who filed the case and where? Why did the person file this case? What were the circumstances that necessitated this case filing? You want to focus on the most important facts and make sure you include them.

Also, what lower courts have already considered this case, and what did those courts decide?

Since many of our cases will be Supreme Court cases, they have, at the very least, been heard by a federal district court and a U.S. Court of Appeals, did those courts agree with each other?

(NOT REQUIRED: include in your Facts section a description of the arguments of the parties.)


In one statement, what is the problem, or dispute, that the two sides are trying to resolve?

It is best to use a “when/where” statement, for example:

is racial segregation in D.C. public schools unconstitutional where it has been found to violate the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause in state schools?”


The Rule section is where you state the most important, up to three, legal principles that support the Court’s decision. For example:

Racial segregation in D.C. public schools is an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment due process clause.

Racial segregation in state schools violates the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause.


What is the Court’s reason for deciding this case in the manner that they did? This section is where you describe the Court’s reasoning, not your own. Make sure you distinguish between the rules that the Court makes in deciding the case and their reasoning for getting to those rules. The reasoning, is what goes into this section.


Here succinctly state the court’s holding and the result only.

A holding would be, the Supreme Court affirmed, denied, remanded or like Bolling, restored to the docket,a case.

The result answers the question, what happens next? Is the case going back to a lower court for a new decision? Bolling is going to be reargued.