I don’t think there’s a mnemonic aid for “mnemonic,” but I’m studying for a law exam, and it’s insanely conducive to various visual associations:
- Engel v. Vitale, the 1962 case that ruled that mandatory school prayer was an Establishment Clause violation. (You think?) Remember angels and that some thought it was vital to pray.
- A trio of conscientious objector laws:
- Welsh v. US: you needn’t have organized religious beliefs to object, if your beliefs are held with the strength of organized religion.
- Gillette v. US: you can’t be a CO if you only object to one war; it has to be war in general
- Clay v. US: it’s based on individual beliefs, not your whole sect’s beliefs. In particular, you must remember 3 prongs:
- Oppose war in any form
- Religious, not political, beliefs
- There must be evidence that your beliefs are sincere
- Remember Welsh grape jelly (and eating it individually, not in church), Gillette stadium (and protesters there opposing the Iraq war but supporting the war in Afghanistan), and, well, Clay is easier if you know that it’s Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali). The three items are pretty easy to remember on their own.
- There was a Pinette case where the KKK wanted to put up a cross. It was for pretty intimidating purposes, but the court “had to live with its own precedent” that it was protected free speech. Imagine that the cross was made of pine.
- VA v. Black: you can’t ban cross-burning, but if it’s used as intimidation, it’s illegal anyway. Remember that cross-burning was usually done as intimidation against black people.
- Loving v. VA: essentially struck down anti-miscegenation laws. After all, marriage is about loving, not skin color.
- Baehr v. Anderson and Brause v. Board of Vital Stats were two cases with a lot in common:
- They both had the state’s anti-gay-marriage laws ruled violations of the state constitution
- They both resulted in the state constitution changing to define marriage differently, banning gay marriage and doing it in a way that can’t be unconstitutional (since it’s in the constitution)
- They both occurred in “Western extremity” states (Alaska and Hawaii)
- They both involved people with strange B-names
Of course, we’ll see in an hour if this helps, or if I just sit there thinking that I could really go for some Welsh grape jelly having no idea why I’m thinking about it.