This sets up the possibility that the Court could simultaneously grant a prisoner’s petition to appeal his or her sentence while refusing to stay the execution that would, in the legal lexicon, “moot” the case if the prisoner was subsequently executed. In other words, the justices cannot introduce legislation like members of Congress.10 However, as strategic decision makers, justices can do encourage litigants to submit cases presenting a particular question or issue area (see, e.g., Hausseger & Baum, 1999). In the U.S. Supreme Court, any justice can write a dissenting opinion, and this can be signed by other justices. The final tenet of our account suggests that, although justices are goal-oriented and consider their colleagues’ preferences when making decisions, they must also account for the institutional context within which they decide cases (Slotnick, 1978; Danelski, 1978; Maltzman & Wahlbeck, 1996). The Courtroom holds only 250 seats for spectators, and there are no cameras allowed during either proceeding. In many ways, he was a “giant” of the Court, as many of his obituary writers are stressing. Faced with these dichotomous policy choices, Powell eventually joined Stewart’s opinion and became the requisite fifth vote to transform that dissent into a majority opinion. Note, however, there are clear differences in the types of information each brief provides. Perry and Carmichael point out, however, that if the Court is interested in taking “nearly significant” cases it should not abandon its long-lasting rule. In addition, they make their positions clear with how they ask questions and also speak to each other through their questions and comments. His tenure as the junior associate justice is one of the longest in history. Clerk’s legwork in hand, the opinion author prepares a first draft and, once complete, circulates this draft to the Court. She says the courtroom is not very big. Rather, they are prone to speak to one another as well. The real paper-shuffling begins once the Court has accepted a case: from this point the petitioner has 45 days to file a merits brief, and the respondent’s brief is required 30 days later. Beyond the Court median, the opinion author exerts influence on the substantive outcome of a case. Litigants lucky enough to have a case accepted for review by the Supreme Court submit a second round of briefs. The conference. The Supreme Court defines ...”. Indeed, Congress has clear and important powers explicated in Article I of the Constitution. No, the answer is not the president. This section considers the role justices play in this part of their decision-making process. That is, when making decisions, they must account for the preferences of their immediate colleagues, the preferences of actors beyond the Court, and institutional norms and rules that might affect the decisions that they can make. The rules surrounding these briefs on the merits are discussed along with the research that seeks to explain the extent to which written arguments affect the decisions justices make. For example, Brenner and Spaeth (1988) suggest chiefs may call on colleagues who have more experience writing in a given area of the law. For example, in an analysis of Justice Brennan’s and Justice Marshall’s private papers, Epstein and Knight (1995) demonstrate that over 50% of cases in one sample contained one or more bargaining statements between the justices.5 In a later monograph, Epstein and Knight conclude that, “law, as it is generated by the Supreme Court, is the result of short-term strategic interactions among the justices and between the Court and other branches of government” (1998, p. 18). The attitudinal model of Supreme Court decision-making suggests that justices are unconstrained in their ability to vote for their most preferred policy outcomes because they enjoy life tenure (Segal & Spaeth, 2002). The chief justice made this comment during a C-SPAN forum on cameras in the courtroom. This was a major change, as Hartnett (2000) points out: “the Supreme Court produced a fundamental change in the relationship between itself and state courts in constitutional cases—a change far larger than Congress evidently anticipated. Further, when both amicus and litigant participation are considered, the Court still receives the most information regarding policy and constitutional issues. The modal category is “join” (Maltzman, Spriggs, & Wahlbeck, 2000). These groups, called amici curiae (friends of the Court), affect the probability the justices will hear a case (see, e.g., Caldeira & Wright, 1988). When the justices finally hear the case, the trial usually lasts one hour. 17. 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