Judicial Opinion of a Justice on the United States Supreme Court
For this assignment, you will write a complete judicial opinion as if you were a Justice on the United States Supreme Court. You have briefs arguing for both sides, which will provide you with the basic underlying facts and with legal arguments for each possible outcome. Your job is to determine which side (either the Petitioner, or the Respondent) has the better of the arguments, and then to write an opinion that explains why you reached that conclusion. At the end you will enter judgment (meaning, you will award victory in the case) to either the Petitioner or the Respondent, concluding that the Hendersonville Parks and Recreation Board either has, or has not, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Your opinion may (and should) cite any cases referred to in the briefs. You may also cite any other legal opinions that you find in your own independent research.
The Introduction of the opinion should be a short paragraph or two, setting out the basic legal issues and previewing for the reader what the outcome of the opinion will be. In the Background and Facts section, provide all of the necessary facts of the case, in detail.
The Opinion section will contain the bulk of your writing. In this section, first explain what the governing legal principles are. Explain what the Supreme Court has held about similar issues in the past. Then, explain how the facts of this particular case are either similar to, or different from, those prior cases. Finally, explain whether this similarity or difference means that the prayers being challenged here are unconstitutional or constitutional, and why.
In the Conclusion section, clearly state the holding of your opinion.
The briefs which you should read and use as the basis for your written opinion are located in the "Files" section of Canvas, inside the "Judicial Opinions" folder.