Legal Issue(s)

The legal issues are the questions of law that the court is asked to decide.
In Brown, the court was asked to find whether segregated public schools violated the plaintiffs’ their 14th Amendment rights. Sometime, like in Brown, the court labels the legal issue as such:

The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not “equal” and cannot be made “equal,” and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws. Because of the obvious importance of the question presented, the Court took jurisdiction.

In other instances your job is more difficult. However, when you start “briefing” a case, it may help you understand its issues if you right them as a question:

  • Did the Court in Brown find that segregated public education violate the plaintiffs’ 14th Amendment rights?