Supreme Court Opinion Days

On days like today, the author of a Supreme Court opinion announces the result of the case and summarizes the decision.  Sometimes a dissenter will do the same. This is not the traditional practice.  Up until at least the 1930s, the author read the entire opinion.  This could take more than a hour, and would often leave people is suspense for a long time about how the case came out.

I’m not sure when this practice ended, just as I’m not sure when the Court started distributing its opinion assignments evenly.  There was evidently a sea change in the Court’s customs in the middle of the 20th century.  Could make a good article.

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1 Response

  1. Joe says:

    The late 19th Century was pretty boring, I guess, given how much time it must have taken to read all those opinions.