Supreme Court Justices


SupremeCourt Justices



The have the brightest legal minds and are able tointerpret the constitutional rights and federal laws (Harr &ampOrthmann 2012). They are bound by stare decisions and use theirknowledge acquired to make valuable judgments. However, despite theirknowhow, there are circumstances where the 5-4 opinion is adopted. Ajudgment requires a quorum of the judges hearing a particular case.For instance, if nine judges are listening to the case, the majorityof five judges must be in agreement so as to make a decision. Atleast five votes must be cast in favor or against the case at hand inorder to give the final judgment (Finkelman, 2014). Further, if eightjustices are involved, a simple majority must have five judges andfinally if 6 judges are to determine the case, four justices mustrepresent a simple majority. Majorityof courts need a quorum of six judges to conduct a vote. The SupremeCourt Justices make decisions on the basis of 5-4 votes because fourof the justices are progressive while four of the other members areconservative (Harr&amp Orthmann 2012).The other remaining judge represents the swing vote, and hedetermines which side will be the majority. Thejudges who refute the decisions of the majority are excused. They arediscouraged from uttering or making any dissenting speech that can beused against them if cited for future litigation. In instances wherea tie exists by the Supreme Court Judges, the case considered isupheld, and no comments are made. The court does not make a permanentruling on the laws relating to the case (Finkelman, 2014). Inparticular occasions, the court may decide to hear the argument ofthe case by including more judges who were previously absent duringthe initial argument.


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Finkelman,P. (2014). TheSupreme Court: Controversies, Cases, and Characters from John Jay toJohn Roberts.Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.

Harr,J. S., Hess, M. H., &amp Orthmann C. H. (2012).Constitutional lawand the criminal justice system (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.