Asked by justinbeavers1967
Steve Dedmon, newly elected House of Representative to the U.S....
Steve Dedmon, newly elected House of Representative to the U.S. Congress from Florida, who is
a Muslim, has ignited debate across the country because he has expressed his desire to use the Qur'an as
the book on which he will pledge or affirm his allegiance to do his duty as a representative, as opposed to
the traditional use of the Bible. He wishes to place his left hand on two18th century volumes of the
Qur'an formally owned by Thomas Jefferson now archived in the Library of Congress. He has now come
to you seeking your legal opinion on the Constitutional controversy raised by this issue and the possibility
of filing a lawsuit, as there is a House Rule that addresses his wanting to use the Qur'an.
House Rule 1.01: The only text recognized by the House for the swearing in of newly elected members is
the Bible. Should an elected official use any text other than the Bible this honorable House will not
officially recognize him/her in their capacity as a House member and they will be barred from serving in
any matters associated with the official functions of this honorable body.
Your research of this issue has lead you to the case of Powell ET AL v. McCormack. Speaker of the
House of Representatives, ET AL, 395 U.S. 486.
Based on the United States Constitution
identify and discuss the legal issues
the question and answered by both the Constitution and what the Supreme Court says in the Powell case
and its relevance to the issue facing Mr. Dedmon. Address "
of the Constitutional
issues your client faces, and Constitutional defenses available to your him.
(01) and Class Meeting time in the Top Left-Hand corner.
From your ERNIE page, access the Hunt Library link. From there, click on Research Databases, click on
the N, then click Nexis Uni. Then click on Cases, then Federal, then about...at that point you can type in
Powell v. McCormack. You should then find the case in the list. You can read the case online, print it or
e-mail it to yourself. Note
this is a very long case but focus on constitutional content and context
issues that are specifically in the Constitution
(welcome to the practice of law!) You do not have to
deal with "legal issues" like political questions or jurisdiction.
Focus on the Constitution, our discussions in class and some issues not discussed in class (there is that
reading and other course responsibility issue thing).
If you have any issues accessing the case, contact a librarian
to help as they know their business.
you have any legal questions, let me know.
DUE DATE: WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY E-MAIL
On the due date,
you will self-
assess (grade your own) against my model answer, after which you will turn it in then.
So you are aware there are
NUMEROUS CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES SOME OF WHICH WE
DISCUSSED IN CLASS OR THROUGH THE VOICE OVER POWERPOINTS, YOU NEED TO
DISCUSS. SOME HAVE NOT AS I AM TRYING TO GET YOU TO READ THE
CONSTITUTION AND THE AMENDMENTS!!
look for this rule as I
MADE IT UP
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