How Long Does It Take for the Supreme Court to Decide a Case

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The court announces its decision in Lyon v. Animal House Zoo in open court. In the present case, the court issued an opinion in which it annulled the decision of the 2nd arrondissement and explained the reasons for the decision that the 2nd arrondissement had decided the case badly in favour of the zoo and that it should have ruled in favour of Mr Lyon instead. (Alternatively, the court could have upheld the case and ruled that the 2nd District was right and the zoo should not be held responsible, or it could have overturned the 2nd District`s decision, effectively overturned it, withdrawn the case, and dismissed the 2nd District. He was ordered to reconsider it on the basis of theories, evidence, or arguments he had not yet considered.) The simplest way to understand why we have to wait so long for a decision in Dobbs or any other Supreme Court case, which has the potential to change the law of the land in an extremely important area of law, is to imagine a series of circular work processes. The Supreme Court does not do one thing, it does many things over and over again and repeats these five key processes that make the court work. When the Court is sitting, public meetings begin punctually at 10 a.m. and end at noon, with occasional afternoon meetings scheduled if necessary. There are no public meetings on Thursdays and Fridays. On Fridays during and during the preceding weeks of hearings, judges meet to discuss the cases at stake, discuss and vote on requests for review.

Once Mr. Lyon`s application is submitted, the zoo has three options: it can accept, meaning it can agree with Lyon that the court should grant certiorari (choose to hear the case); He can waive his right to file a response to the certification petition (although after reading the petition, judges can always ask the zoo for its response); or it can file an opposition (BIO). The zoo chooses the third option; Once the certificate. The petition is put on the agenda of the Supreme Court, the zoo has thirty days to submit its BIO. Once a case has been accepted and included in the court record, the first step is for both parties to file briefs. Briefs are summaries of each party`s reasoning in the case, setting out the facts and explaining why the lower court`s judgment should be upheld or overturned. According to the rules of the Supreme Court, pleadings cannot exceed 50 pages and the plaintiff can file his pleading first, followed by the defendant. In some cases, a judge votes by majority, but does not fully agree with the legal reasoning set out in the majority opinion.

In this situation, the judge may decide to issue a «positive» opinion setting out his specific reasoning. The judges meet twice a week for a private conference, and part of one of these weekly conferences is devoted to discussing potential cases and deciding which ones to accept. At least four of the nine judges must vote «yes» to a case to make the cut. Selected cases receive a writ of certiorari, a formal request from the Supreme Court for a review of the lower court`s decision. Although each judge has the prerogative to read each petition for certiorari himself/herself, many participate in what is informally called a «pool of certainty.» Since applications for certiorari are received weekly, they are distributed among participating judges. Participating judges distribute their requests among their trainee lawyers. The trainee lawyers, in turn, read the petitions assigned to them, write a brief memorandum on the case and make a recommendation as to whether or not to accept the case. The judge makes these briefs and recommendations available to the other judges at a conference of judges. If judges decide to accept a case (grant a request for certiorari), the case is placed on the agenda.

According to the rules of the Supreme Court, the applicant has a certain period of time to prepare a brief of up to 50 pages setting out his case on the subject on which the court has granted review. After the filing of the plaintiff`s procedural document, the other party, the so-called defendant, has a certain period of time to file the defendant`s procedural document. This order may also not exceed 50 pages. Beyond that, however, the Constitution tells us little about the composition or organization of the Court; There are no qualifications for seats on the Court and does not specify how many judges will be on the Court. Before going to the conference, judges often discuss relevant cases with their trainee lawyers and try to get different perspectives on the case. At the end of these sessions, judges sometimes have a pretty good idea of how they will vote in the case; In other cases, they are still not consolidated. The Supreme Court hears cases differently from criminal or civil trials that are usually depicted on television. Later this week, the judges will hold a private conference where they will vote on how to decide the case. The majority Chief Justice (i.e., either the Chief Justice or, if not in the majority, the longest-serving judge of the Court) decides who writes the majority opinion; If there is a dissenting opinion – a minority of judges are of the opinion that a different decision should have been taken – the senior dissenting judge orders one of the dissenting judges to draft the dissenting opinion. If a judge agrees with the outcome of a case but disagrees with the reasoning, he or she may write a concurring opinion, which other judges may approve. Judges may also write separate dissenting opinions. In the event of a tie – for example, in the event of a vacancy in the court or if one of the judges has withdrawn the case – the decision of the lower court remains unchanged.

Judges or judges who vote in the minority may also choose to write a dissenting opinion explaining why they disagree with the majority opinion. In this case, the minority judges decide whether they «agree» with a dissenting opinion or whether to write separate dissenting opinions. From the acceptance of a case to the rendering of a judgment, it is the process that the nine justices of the Supreme Court follow to review a case and make a decision. By law, the term of the Supreme Court begins on the first Monday in October. Hearings generally last until the end of June or the beginning of July. The term is divided into «sessions» when judges hear cases and give opinions, and intermediate «pauses» when they consider the case in court and write opinions. Sessions and breaks alternate at intervals of about two weeks. Parties who are not satisfied with a lower court`s decision must go to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case. The main way to ask the court to review is to ask the court to issue a writ of certiorari. This is a request that the Supreme Court orders a lower court to send the case file for review. The Court is generally not required to hear these cases, and it usually does so only if the case may be of national importance, harmonize conflicting decisions in the federal courts and/or have precedential value.