The majority opinion is written after each justice gives his or her view of the case.
If the chief justice is in the majority, he can either assign the opinion to a justice in the majority or write it himself.
The most senior justice in the majority decides if he is in the majority.
The opinions are the main method of expressing the Court's views.
The opinion must explain the reasoning of the majority.
The author of an opinion has to compromise and bargain with other justices in order to get an agreement.
Dissenting opinions are common as justices hope that someday they will command a majority of the Court.
Judicial opinions can be directed at Congress or the president.
In the absence of action by Congress, we have no choice but to.
Justices use opinions to communicate.
Support for a policy the Court favors may be increased by a well-crafted opinion.
Writing the opinion of the court is difficult.
The document needs the support of at least four intelligent, strong- willed persons.
The justice is assisted by the law clerks to write a draft.
The author must rewrite and recirculate the draft until a majority of the justices agree.
The Court is not always closely divided.
An opinion writer may want a unanimous Court and compromise to achieve unanimity if a decision will invite critical public reaction.
The justices understood that any sign of dissension on this major social issue would be an invitation to ignore the court's ruling.
They give only brief summaries of their opinions.
The complexity of the Court's decision-making process is not surprising given the importance of cases that reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court precedent were the only one, the lower courts could resolve the question on their own.
Justices must decide which of the confl icting precedents applies most closely to the legal question at hand.
The Court's decisions can also be heard by outside groups and other legal actors.
Law clerks can give advice to the justices of the court, as well as review the cases appealed to the court.
Like other federal judges, the chief justice of the United States is appointed by the president.
The chief justice heads the entire federal judiciary, which makes him more visible than if he were selected by a rotation of fellow justices, or if he were chosen by seniority in the federal courts of appeals.
Even though the Warren Court is often named after the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the chief justice is only "fi rst among equals" within the Supreme Court.
In the United States, an independent judici ary plays a crucial role in maintaining democracy and protecting individual rights.
In a separation-of-powers system like the United States, the judiciary maintains checks on the other branches of government and has the power to invalidate their actions when they violate the Constitution.
No person is above the law if the government treats all citizens fairly and impartially.
A survey asked people from around the world if it was important to live in a country where the judicial system treated everyone the same.
Most countries see an impartial judiciary where everyone is treated the same as an important goal.
In the United States, nearly 90 percent of respondents said it was important for the judicial system to treat everyone equally.
In countries such as India, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Korea, fewer people agree that an impartial judiciary is important.
In countries where impartiality is expected in the court systems, respondents value impartiality less than they do in countries where impartiality is not expected.
Data was not collected in China because they don't have an impartial judiciary.
Chief Justiceship does not guarantee leadership according to political scientist David Danelski.
Liberal and conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist was very popular with his colleagues.
He was known for his efficiency in running the Court and his fairness in assigning opinions.
He has law clerks in his chambers.
The best recent graduates of law schools were hired by federal judges to serve as clerks for a year or two.
Each Supreme Court justice is entitled to four because of the increased judicial workload.
Young people who have graduated from a leading law school and clerked for a federal or state court are called the ese.
Each justice picks his or her own clerks and works closely with them throughout the term.
The number of concurring and dissenting opinions has increased as the number of law clerks has increased.
Today's opinions are longer and have more footnotes.
There is debate about the degree to which law clerks act in court.
Law clerks help write early drafts of their justices' opinions, which some scholars think has been too much.
Law clerks are able to advance their views if justices select clerks with similar views to their own.
Law clerks have an opportunity at this stage of the decision-making process to induct the Court's docket.
More than half of the cases the Supreme Court agrees to decide are brought by attorneys in the Department of Justice and other federal agencies.
The U.S. government cannot appeal any case upward without the approval of the solicitor general.
Whenever the same question is presented, citizens, interest groups, and organizations may judge.
Winning parties don't necessarily get what they want after victory in the Supreme Court.
As it disposes of the case, the lower court often has a lot of latitude in interpreting the Court's mandate.
The impact of a Supreme Court ruling on the behavior of individuals who are not immediate parties to a lawsuit is uncertain.
Donald Verrilli is the United States government's Solicitor General.
He spoke about the challenge to the health care law.
Supreme Court rulings are often ignored.
Despite the Court's ruling that it is unconstitutional for school boards to require students to pray, some schools continue this practice.
In Prince Edward County, Virginia, many school districts refused to integrate because of the Supreme Court's ruling that public school segregation was unconstitutional.
Even though judges make independent decisions, they are not free to do what they want.
Some of the limits on what they decide are imposed by the political system of which they are a part and some by the legal profession.
The Latin phrase "to stand by that which is decided" means that judges are expected to follow the decisions of their own courts and superior courts.
Lower-court judges sometimes apply precedent to raise additional questions about an earlier higher-court decision or to give the higher courts a chance to change a precedent entirely.
More than 170 acts of Congress, as well as nearly 1,300 state constitutional and legislative provisions, have been overturned by the Supreme Court since 1789.
They don't expect the Court to overturn the decision in a single, sweeping case, but they do expect it to chip away at the precedent as more limited opportunities come before it.
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was upheld by the court.
The Court upheld an abortion restriction that did not provide an exception for the woman's health.
The judiciary as a whole can be affected by legislative decisions that affect the number and composition of the courts.
The number of federal judgeships may be increased when a political party takes control of the White House and Congress.
Congress reduced the size of the Supreme Court in order to prevent the president from filling two vacancies.
The Court was returned to its former size by the White House and Congress.
To fill the vacancies, you will need a grant.
In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed to increase the size of the Supreme Court by one justice for every member of the court over the age of 70.
The proposal to pack the court with new supporters was meant to make the court more efficient.
The early New Deal legislation was declared unconstitutional by the Court and Roosevelt and his advisers were frustrated.
Roosevelt's "court-packing scheme" failed despite his popularity.
He was able to make eight appointments to the Court because of the retirements from the bench.
Congressional control over the structure and jurisdiction of federal courts has been used to make judicial policy.
Jefferson's Republican Party abolished the circuit courts created by the Congress just before it lost control of Congress.
The Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction was changed by Congress in 1869 in order to remove a case that was about to review Reconstruction legislation.
There are a number of bills introduced in Congress each year to eliminate the jurisdiction of federal courts over cases relating to abortion, school prayer, and school busing.
It would amount to a fundamental shift in the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court if Congress decided to do so.
One of the hallmarks of a free society is an independent judiciary.
As impartial dispensers of equal justice under the law, judges should not depend on the executive, legislature, parties to a case, or electorate.
When judges make unpopular decisions, judicial independence is criticized.
In the United States, people resort to litigation as a means of making public policy as much as they do in other societies.
The NAACP used litigation to get relief from segregation practices in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
An increasing number of women's organizations, environmental groups, and religious and conservative organizations have turned to the courts.
The president and the Senate are likely to appoint justices whose decisions reflect their values.
We can make our opposition known if we oppose the Court's decisions.
Many citizens opposed Judge Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1986 because they wanted to oppose a particular nomination to the federal judiciary.
The kinds of judges a presidential candidate is likely to appoint to the federal judiciary can be considered when making voting decisions.
Our federal courts can be used in these ways.
There is no better standard for determining the legitimacy of a governmental institution.
Determine characteristics of the federal judiciary and reach and assess influences on this process.
Two parties argue courts, the courts of appeals, and district courts in the neutral arena provided by the courts.
The solicitor general plays an important role in determining before an impartial judge the views of the law clerks.
The Supreme Court agrees to decide most of the cases in the courts.
There are three levels of federal courts.
The degree to which the courts can or are likely environment must be considered when making appointments to the other branches of government.
They choose a candidate to act without the support of the other branches.
consulting with Congress.
The Senate has made judicial appointments not dependent on the executive, the legislature, or the parties to the election, in order to give equal justice under the law.
When judges make unpopular decisions, judicial independence is criticized.
Take a look at the process by which Supreme Court decisions are made.
The factors that affect the selection of judicial nominees are analyzed.
Federal court judges should be active.
It gives an overview of the University Press.
The Court released a new website in 2010.
The University of Michigan Press published an article about ob in 2000.
The National Center for State Courts is an organization that gathers data on state courts and improves their administration.