The Syllabus in a Supreme Court Opinion
With the Court’s new Term underway, here’s a question that I’ve wondered about for a long time. Supreme Court opinions are prefaced by a syllabus (not prepared by the Justice writing the opinion) summarizing the decision qualified by the statement that the syllabus is not authority. Does anyone bother reading these anymore? I don’t. I just read the opinions. Or I look at commentary on the opinions. Or the Westlaw notes. Perhaps, though, practitioners find these summaries useful. If not, though, the Court is probably wasting resources and delaying opinion releases unnecessarily by sill doing them.