A Supreme Court Filibuster
With the recent walkout in the Wisconsin Senate still fresh in our minds, I’m wondering about the following problem. A federal statute (28 U.S.C. s. 1) provides that six Justices constitute a quorum. Suppose that in a given case four Justices refuse to participate any further because they are outraged at the draft opinion circulated by the majority. Can they effectively filibuster that opinion until it’s withdrawn?
I think one question is when does a quorum attach. Is it when the cert petition is voted on? When oral argument happens? When a case is discussed in conference? When the opinion is handed down? Do you have to boycott all cases and petitions that are pending, or can you do it selectively? I don’t know.