A decision is reached

A decision is reached - the decision (argument). Usually...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
A decision is reached After reviewing the briefs and hearing oral arguments, the justices meet in conference to  discuss the case and ultimately take a vote. A majority of the justices must agree,  meaning five out of the nine justices in a full Court. At this point, the  opinion  is drafted.  This is the written version of the Court's decision. If in the majority, the chief justice can  draft the opinion, but more often this task is assigned to another justice in the majority.  The senior associate justice voting in the majority makes the assignment when the chief  justice is in the minority.  The opinion usually goes through numerous drafts, which are circulated among the  justices for comment. Additional votes are sometimes required, and a justice may  change from one side to another. After final agreement is reached, a  majority opinion  is issued that states the Court's decision (judgment) and presents the reasons behind 
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: the decision (argument). Usually the decision builds on previous court rulings, called precedent, because a central principle guiding judicial practices is the doctrine of stare decisis (which means "let the decision stand"). A justice who accepts the decision but not the majority's reasoning may write a concurring opinion. Justices who remain opposed to the decision may submit a dissenting opinion. Some dissents have been so powerful that they are better remembered than the majority opinion. It may also happen that, as the times and the makeup of the Court change, a dissenting view becomes the majority opinion in a subsequent case. When the Court chooses to overrule precedent, however, the justices responsible may be criticized for violating the stare decisis principle....
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online