Quit Saying the Court Decided a Case

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Ben Johnson

“It took me a long time to realize the Supreme Court doesn’t really decide cases: it answers questions. It’s not like the Court hides this. Look at its rules. Here’s the relevant part from rule 14.1(a): ‘Only the questions set out in the petition, or fairly included therein, will be considered by the Court.’ … The distinction between cases and questions is subtle but important. Cases are composed of questions. For a court to decide a case, it must answer some — but not necessarily all — questions in a case. Judgment in a case emerges when a sufficient set of questions has been answered.” (05/09/22)