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The term “opinions” as used on this website refers to several types of writing by the Justices.

The most well-known opinions are those released or announced in cases in which the Court has heard oral argument. Each opinion sets out the Court’s judgment and its reasoning and may include the majority or principal opinion as well as any concurring or dissenting opinions. All opinions in a single case are published together and are prefaced by a syllabus prepared by the Reporter of Decisions that summarizes the Court’s decision. The Justice who authors the majority or principal opinion often will summarize the opinion from the bench during a Court session.

The Court may also dispose of cases in per curiam opinions, which do not identify the author. These cases frequently resolve cases summarily, often without oral argument. But per curiam opinions have sometimes been issued in argued cases.

In-chambers opinions are written by an individual Justice to dispose of an application by a party for interim relief, e.g., for a stay of the judgment of the court below, for vacation of a stay, or for a temporary injunction.

Justices may also write opinions relating to the orders of the Court, e.g., to dissent from a denial of certiorari or to concur in that denial.

Opinions are posted on the website upon release in slip opinion format. Slip opinions remain posted until replaced with opinions edited to reflect the usual publication style of the United States Reports. Updated PDF versions of the opinions are posted on this website as the publication process proceeds, including preliminary prints and bound volumes of the United States Reports.


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