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Opinions


The term “opinions” as used here, refers to several types of writing by the Justices.

The most well known are the opinions of the Court released or announced in cases in which the Court has heard oral argument. Each sets out the Court’s judgment and its reasoning. Often, the Justice who authors the majority or principal opinion summarizes the opinion from the bench during a regularly scheduled session of the Court.

The Court may also dispose of cases in per curiam opinions, which do not identify the author. These opinions frequently resolve cases summarily, often without oral argument. But per curiam opinions have been issued in argued cases, such as Bush v. Gore, 531 U. S. 98, and the campaign finance case of Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1.

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.

All opinions are posted on this website upon release in slip opinion format and later compiled and printed in the United States Reports, the Court’s official publication. Updated electronic versions of the opinions are posted on this website as the publication process proceeds, including preliminary print and bound volume format.

For earlier volumes of the U.S. Reports, the Library of Congress maintains an online digital collection of the U.S. Reports covering the years 1754-2012. The Library of Congress provides information on additional free online resources for case law, including decisions of the Supreme Court, in this guide: How To Find Free Case Law Online.

Publication of Supreme Court Opinions




 

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