George Mason Law Review Civil Rights Law Journal

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1. You must use proper Bluebook (20th edition) law review form1 for citations (hard copy or digital copy).

2. Your Comment must not exceed twelve (12) pages of typed, double-spaced text, including footnotes.

3. Pages must be numbered (centered at the bottom of each page).

4. The font must be 12-point Times New Roman.

5. Top, bottom, left, and right margins must be one inch.

6. Footnotes must be single-spaced, in 10-point Times New Roman font.

Your Comment should conform as nearly as possible to Comments published in the George Mason Law Review. You may look at Comments in these publications without violating the closed-research requirements, but only for the purpose of determining proper format and style. In addition, please use the following framework:
A. Title
At the top of the first page, you must have an appropriate title.
B. Introduction
Your introduction should introduce the issue(s) you will discuss, briefly summarize how courts have treated the issue(s), and summarize any conclusions you have reached in your Comment. Your introduction should also provide a “road map” for the reader of the different sections of your Comment.
C. Background & Discussion
This section should trace the development of the area of law under discussion. Your discussion should briefly describe the courts’ approach to key issues in these cases and should juxtapose the arguments of the parties. The purpose is not to write a detailed analysis of the relevant cases but to give the reader enough knowledge to appreciate your discussion of these cases in your analysis section.
D. Legal Analysis
This part of the Comment is the most important part of your submission. You should set forth your reasoning in detail. What we are looking for is well-reasoned legal analysis. You should focus on factors such as case holdings, consistencies or discrepancies among holdings, future consistent application of the law, etc. As you organize your analysis, you may wish to consider one or more of the following questions:

  1. How should public health, safety, and welfare factor into a First Amendment analysis of tattooing regulations?

  2. Who should govern tattooing regulation: the federal, state, or local government?

  3. What level of scrutiny should be applied to cases involving tattooing regulations?

  4. How should the traditional distinction between speech and conduct in First Amendment analysis help guide courts’ decisions about state and local tattooing regulations?

  5. How important is the concept of federalism in the context of tattooing regulation or tattoos as free expression?

  6. What role, if any, should time, place, and manner constraints on the First Amendment play in analyzing the constitutionality of state and local laws?

  7. What role does or should stare decisis play in First Amendment and free expression decisions?

  8. Is the judiciary the appropriate final decision maker in cases involving the regulation of tattooing?

A successful piece will assess the sources listed in this packet and determine how they relate to one another. There is no formula for a successful write-on submission; however, you should aim to approach the topic succinctly and creatively. You should focus on the persuasiveness of your argument, conformance with formatting used in typical Comments, writing style, grammar, punctuation, and the proper use of citations. You need not use every source listed in this packet. Likewise, you need not avoid any particular source.

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