What is the opinion writing process

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What's Antonin Scalia's writing process?

Essay can opinion the writing is process what our world

Supreme Court has ruled on cases including the Arizona immigration law and mandatory life sentences for juveniles. How does a Supreme Court justice write an opinion?

What is the opinion writing process

With lots and lots of help from their law clerks. While justices are responsible for the substance of their opinions in each case, their clerks usually do the majority of the writing.


Opinion Writing for Kids

These clerks follow a code of secrecy about the process of writing each opinion, but we do know how the process generally works. After oral arguments and the initial vote, the senior justice for the majority opinion chooses a judge who may be himself or another justice to be the for writing the opinion.

Blackmun Library of CongressLewis F. In the days following oral argument, the Justices meet in conference to discuss the cases that were recently argued. The Supreme Court's authority in this respect is also derived from Article III of the Constitutionwhich states that the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction "in all cases affecting ambassadorsother public ministers and consulsand those in which a state shall be party. Continue reading your independent reading book and record what you are reading on your homework sheet. Tell students that you are going to read the model aloud, and their job is to listen for any words that connect reasons together to help readers follow the opinion.

Unless this judge is Justice Antonin Scalia, who has often taken on the task of writing opinions himself, the judge will then usually select one of his or her clerks to take the first crack at drafting the opinion. The judge will then discuss with the clerk what the opinion should say and may provide a detailed outline or just a few rough notes. Each justice is allowed to have what is the opinion writing process to four clerks—bright young law graduates, usually from Ivy League schools and often in their mid-to-lates—with the exception of the chief justice, who gets to have five.

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These may be only a few link edits, or they may amount to a nearly complete rewrite, depending on the justice and the skills of the clerk. This is a relatively recent development: The Supreme Court began to institute clerks only in the s, but by the midth century they were already playing a significant role in drafting opinions.

  • By a certified question or proposition of law from one of the United States Courts of Appeals, meaning that the Court of Appeals requests the Supreme Court to instruct it on how to decide the case.
  • This procedure was once common but is now rarely invoked; the last certificate accepted for review was in
  • Ask questions such as:

Any judges who voted with the opinion will tell the authoring judge if they have any suggestions or objections to the opinion, and there may be one or more rounds of revisions—implemented with i help of clerks and secretaries—to resolve these disputes. Otherwise they will signal more info they are ready to join the opinion. They also write the syllabus which is a sort of executive summary or abstract that goes above the opinion, and this is also sent back to the judges and their clerks for review.

These days the slip opinions are also published online.

The more info that these important documents are sometimes ghostwritten by young clerks has not been uncontroversial. What is the opinion writing process does the Supreme Court handle corrections?

Speaking, the writing what opinion process is can

Explainer thanks Mary-Rose Papandrea of Boston College, Artemus Ward of Northern Illinois University, and David Weiden of Hofstra University. Correction, June 26, This article originally misidentified the Supreme Court justices' clerks as law students. The clerks are graduates of law school, not law students. Return to the corrected sentence.

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