The Language of Judicial Rulings Answers

1. In Palmore v. Sidoti, the state court found that there was no question as to either biological parent's devotion to the child.

Here, the most accurate term would be "found" because it refers to the state court's determination of a fact, or, more precisely, to the absence of a negative factual finding concerning either parent's qualifications to be the child's custodian.


2. The state court reasoned that remaining in a racially mixed household would ultimately have a damaging impact on the child.

The most accurate term would be "reasoned" because here the sentence refers to the state court's rationale for awarding custody to the father, despite the mother's fitness as a parent.


3. The state court held that, where a child's biological mother had remarried a person of a different race and it was inevitable that the child would suffer social stigma if she remained with her mother in a mixed-race household, the best interests of the child would be served by awarding custody to the child's biological father.

Here the appropriate term would be "held" because this sentence refers to the state court's application of a legal standard (best interests) to a set of facts (child's living in a mixed-race household following biological mother's marriage to a man of a different race) as it reaches a specific outcome (awards custody to biological father).


4. In reversing the state court's decision in Palmore, the U.S. Supreme Court held that where a state court made no effort to place its custody determination on any ground other than the suspected impact of private racial biases, the state court's ruling violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The appropriate term would be "held" because the sentence describes the Supreme Court's application of a legal rule (racial classification is prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause) to the same set of facts as it reaches a specific result (reversing judgment of the state court).


5. The Supreme Court reasoned that the law cannot give effect to private biases.

The most appropriate term would be "reasoned" because here the sentence refers to the rationale that the Supreme Court offers in support of its conclusion that a court's taking account of racial bias would be to effect a racial classification.