In this module, you learned about the role of the federal court system, how court decisions are used to inform future legal action, and the evolution of the First Amendment. Additionally, you learned about the impact government regulation and legal proceedings can have on the communication field. This assignment will help you understand how court decisions are analyzed so you can apply the new standards they create and avoid litigation for you and your company when you make a public statement or start a communication campaign.
Prompt
Write a case brief on one of the following Supreme Court cases.
Use the course resources to support your analysis.
Westboro Baptist Church: Snyder v. Phelps (2011)
Case citation: Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. 443 (2011)
(This is not pro Westborough. This is any alliance against Westborough)
Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:
Facts: Briefly summarize the facts of the case, emphasizing the legal dispute in question. The summary should include the following:
Involved parties
The original legal action
The defendant’s defense
The process for how the case reached the Supreme Court (including a summary of all other previous legal proceedings, such as rulings by the court of appeals)
Issue: Identify the question being asked of the court.
Rule of Law: Provide a brief summary of the precedent that was set by the decision. Include the following in your summary:
The importance of the precedent
If the precedent has been overturned, a discussion of the current precedent and the case that established it
Analysis: Analyze how and why the court reached its decision. Include the following:
Any tests or definitions of a new category created by the decision
The legal points where the concurring and dissenting opinions disagreed
Conclusion: Provide an accurate and concise description on what the court decided that includes an answer to the question you identified in the “Issue” section above.
Reflection: In addition to the case brief, answer the following questions:
What do you think the intended consequences to the court’s decision were? Are there potential unintended consequences to the court decision?
How might the ruling influence future First Amendment cases?
In general, how can the federal courts cause change in the communication industry?

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