The Citizen Brief


A brief, usually an appellate brief, that utilizes economic, sociological, or other scientific and statistical evidence in addition to legal principle when presenting arguments in a case. Named after Louis D. Brandeis, who filed such a brief with the United States Supreme Court in Muller v. Oregon (1908) during his successful defense of a state law limiting the maximum workday of female laundry workers.

Brandeis brief — Legal Definition n.

A citizen-focused document, the Citizen Brief presents relevant information to support social and political engagement. A complete Citizen Brief provides a vision for an issue, reframes the problem, provides data, and discusses the various issues and proposals available. These actions can be personal, social or political. Due to its emphasis on continual reassessment, the Citizen Brief is uniquely positioned to address systemic changes over time. The Citizen Brief is associated with an activist agenda to address the identified challenges and powerful barriers that stymie efforts to confront social challenges. The particular items in the Brief are linked to an action plan for citizen engagement.

The citizen brief is central to reclaiming the role of the citizen in the body politics. It is a stand alone document addressing a particular societal challenge, i.e the opioid epidemic. The citizen brief is utilized to establish a framework for a citizen oriented treatment plan that provides a comprehensive, multi stakeholder and multi phase road map for citizen involvement in their political ecosystem. It is best used as part of The Medical Case Presentation. The complete citizen brief provides a vision for the issue reframes a problem, provides data, discusses the various issues and proposes actions that can be undertaken by the citizen to address the problem. These actions can be personal, social or political. The Citizen Brief is uniquely positioned to address systematic changes over time.


The “Citizen Brief”* can be understood as framework to a process to summon our fellow citizens to address the challenges confronting us as individuals, our communities and our nation. In addition to providing a framework for engagement includes multiple features to achieve the goals. Divided into sections that contribute information to create an impression and more clearly define the problems and potential solutions.


  • Vision: Establish a vision for the individual, community, nation and the international community

  • Humanizing the epidemic: Focusing on the individual suffering with pain and addiction & confronting stigma associated with their condition

  • Social determinants of the opioid epidemic: Social determinants such as poor housing conditions are often accompanied by neighborhood-level conditions that limit access to health care, risk-reduction information, and treatment alternatives, which are protective resources and can disrupt behaviors that ultimately lead to opioid addiction.

  • Opioid supply reduction: Reducing the supply of non medical opioids and preventing the initiation and misuse of nonmedical opioid use

  • Pain disorders: Appropriate acute and chronic pain management and medical use of opioids

  • Opioid use disorder: Prevented, properly diagnosed and properly treated Best practice, scientifically informed addiction prevention, abuse and dependence treatment

  • Harm reduction: Preventing and reducing harm associated with opioid use, including eliminating overdose mortality and morbidity associated with opioid use

  • "The War on Drugs": A criminal justice system that reflects scientific understanding of opioid use and targets criminal elements associated with the pain-opioid epidemic.

For a more detailed description The Citizen Brief .

About the Brandis Brief: On February 24, 1908, the Supreme Court decided Muller v. Oregon, unanimously upholding an Oregon law setting a 10-hour limit on the workday of women in factories and laundries.

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