U.S. Supreme Court
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Dec28-04, 10:29 PM
I was just reading my government textbook, and I was a bit uncertain about the steps for deciding a major case--mostly the correct order they are in.
Does anyone know if this order is correct?
1 Lawyers must submit written briefs.
2 They must then present oral arguments before the Court.
3 The 9 justices meet to debate each case, express views and conclusions, and vote on a decision.
4 A majority opinion may be debated and rewritten several times before the final decision is announced.
5 A written opinion is issued that announces the Court's ruling and explains its reasoning.
My next question focuses on the ways cases come to the Court. Does this include a writ of certiorari and whether or not the case is on appeal?
Most cases come by writ of certiorari which is a request that the Supreme Court reconsider a U.S. Court of Appeals or State Supreme Court case (or other final and unappealable decision in a state court system) which has no precedential value if denied. It is not necessary to request en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals although this is often done. A small class of cases are heard in the U.S. Supreme Court immediately without being heard by a lower court, then referred to a special master who in turn reports back to the Supreme Court (mostly disputes between states and cases involving diplomats but also habeas corpus cases where there is no other proper venue). There are also a handful of cases which go directly from a trial court (usually a special three judge panel) to the U.S. Supreme Court -- these are usually election cases, redistricting cases or cases involving statutes that the Congress anticipated in advance would raise constitutional issues on their face.
My last question revolves around the fact that a case's final decision will make a difference. Does this fact influence the Court's decisions or is it part of the criteria for determining Supreme Court authority in cases?
I appreciate any help. Thanks.
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