Riggs v. Palmer Case
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Description and Instructions
Focus for the First Essay: Riggs v. Palmer Case
First Essay Assignment Context Questions: What were the issues to be decided by the judges in the case of Riggs v. Palmer? What arguments did the Majority judges make to support their decision? What arguments did the Dissenting judge make to support his decision? How did each of the Majority and Dissenting judges view the judge’s role of interpretation? What connections can be drawn between the judges’ reasoning and philosophical/ legal theories covered during the course? Be sure to draw upon two of the following three legal theories: Legal Positivism, Natural Law Theory, or Interpretivism in your answer. Be comprehensive in your discussion of the reasoning of the judges and the connections to the theories.
Core Question: Which of the two positions (i.e., either the majority or the dissenting judges) makes the strongest, and most persuasive case, and why? Be sure to provide argumentation in support of your position.
Please note: This is not a research paper—outside sources are neither required nor recommended. The focus of the assignment is on conceptual analysis and your critical interpretation of the readings and the court decision.
- Displays careful attention and forethought in the development of an especially compelling, defensible, fruitful, insightful, thoughtful, and persuasive position that is clearly and accessibly articulated in the thesis statement
- Evidences intentional and deliberate construction of a cogent and coherent organizing framework, with an effective, persuasive and compelling selection, clustering and sequencing of points forming an integrated line of reasoning throughout
- Contains fruitful, clear and accessible articulation of criticisms of and objections to the position being defended, as well as thoughtful and insightful responses to those criticisms and objections
- Demonstrates a clear, comprehensive, insightful, thoughtful grasp of concepts, arguments, principles, and theories in material discussed, including, where relevant, relevance and salience in relation to concepts, arguments, principles and theories in other course materials
- Exposition focuses effectively on each particular point for analysis, explained in the context of the argument as a whole and its relation to other course concepts and theories
- Analysis goes well beyond exposition to carry through a critical engagement with concepts, arguments, principles, and theories in the materials under discussion
- Analysis characterized by an insightful, original, and critical engagement with arguments in the materials, in the context of concepts, arguments, principle and theories from other course materials
- Crucial terms and concepts are defined comprehensively and fruitfully, and used consistently throughout
- Fluent, polished writing. Sentences are clear, accurate, uncluttered, economically organized, and precisely worded. Sentences are logically ordered and linked, so that the writing flows smoothly throughout.