Presentation on theme: "THE SUPREME COURT AT WORK PROCEDURES, HOW CASES REACH THE COURT & STEPS IN DECIDING CASES."— Presentation transcript:
THE SUPREME COURT AT WORK PROCEDURES, HOW CASES REACH THE COURT & STEPS IN DECIDING CASES
COURT’S PROCEDURES Court in continuous session –Originally only 9 months Sits for 2 consecutive weeks a month Mon-Weds: hear oral arguments Weds & Fri meet in secret conferences to decide cases Other 2 weeks: work on paperwork & opinions
HOW A CASE REACHES THE COURT Writ of Certiorari: either side petitions that a lower court’s decision involved an error raising a serious constitutional issue order from the court to a lower court to send up the records on a case for review On Appeal The Solicitor General: appointed by the President and represents the Government –Determines whether the federal gov’t should appeal Donald Verilli, Jr.
SELECTING CASES Chief justice puts worthy cases on a “discuss list” 2/3 of all cert cases never make it to the list Some cases are decided by a brief known as a per curiam opinion –Brief, unsigned statement of the SC’s decision The rest are given the Court’s full consideration
STEPS IN DECIDING CASES Each side submits a brief detailing legal arguments, facts & precedents Parties not directly involved in the case but with an interest may submit amicus curiae briefs (“friends of the court”) Lawyers on each side are allowed 30 minutes to make oral arguments The Conference: Weds & Fri justices meet to discuss the case –Due to heavy case load debate usually lasts just 30 minutes a case
WRITING THE OPINION Each justice has 1 vote and a majority is needed to decide the case 4 Types of Opinions 1.Unanimous Opinion 2.Majority Opinion 3.Concurring Opinion 4.Dissenting opinion If the Chief justice agrees with the majority, he assigns the justice in the majority to write the opinion If NOT, the most senior justice assigns the task