POLI202 Notes - Opinion Memoranda & Judicial Appointments

POLI202 Notes - Opinion Memoranda & Judicial...

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 TH Landmark decisions On average, 8 memos Occasionally as many as 40-50 memos Opinion Memoranda How do members of the majority respond? 1. Wait Ex) Justice Blackmun to Justice Marshall in Waridus v. Oregon (1973) “I still have trouble with the recirculation of March 27. I therefore shall wait for any dissent, in whole or in part, that may be forthcoming.” Occurs in 13% of cases 2. Suggestion Ex) Justice Rehnquist to Justice Blackmun in Ruckelhaus v. Monsanto Co. (1984) “I think you have written an excellent opinion in this case, but I am troubled by a couple of points which I want to call to your attention.” Occurs in 14% of cases 3. Threat Ex) Justice O’Connor to Justice White in U .S. v. Karo (1984) “If you would see your way clear of incorporating this modification in your circulating draft, I would be pleased to join.” Occurs in 10% of cases 4. Intention to write separately Ex) Chief Justice Burger to Justice O’Connor in Marese v. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (1985)
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“I fear we are not on the same ‘wave length’ on this case. I will have a concurrence around to you as soon as possible.” Occurs in 18% of cases 5. Circulate a concurring or dissenting opinion Ex) Justice Blackmun to Justice Brennan in Michigan Tire Corporation v. Wages (1976) “I would join an opinion that overrules Law …concur separately or to dissent.” Circulating concurrences: Occurs in 47% of cases Circulating dissents: 17% of cases
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