Individually assigned opinions and publicly recorded votes are the primary tools for holding appellate judges and judges accountable, as these opinions are the only chronicle of their work. The signed opinion provides the public with insight into the inner workings of the courts, promoting judicial accountability through an environment of individual accountability. As District Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted, “public accountability through the disclosure of voices and opinion writers endangers the conscience and reputation of the judge.” Thomas Jefferson wrote in the same vein: “The practice [of writing opinions per curiam] is certainly convenient for the lazy, the humble, and the incompetent.” For example, “per curiam affirmed” (CPA) refers to a decision of a court without appointing judges and stating that the decision of a lower court was correct. Such a decision is often made without giving advice. This may be due to the high workload of a court and the need to maintain limited legal resources, which prevents a written statement in all cases. One of the criticisms of CPAs is that such a decision and the absence of a case for their basis preclude further scrutiny. Many decisions of the Appeals Division of the New York Supreme Court, particularly in Judicial Divisions I and Two, do not name authors. In all departments, the designation per curiam is used in the disciplinary decisions of lawyers.  Specific situations in which the use of a “per curiam” is acceptable include ordinary DIG (rejection of certiorari as imprudently granted) and GVR (grant of certiorari, setting aside judgment and dismissal in light of a recently decided case) or, for example, where the Court formally excludes a litigant from any future.
The attribution of such orders or expert opinions would have little value, as the wording would generally not address any particular aspect of the case. Today, the Supreme Court issues a significant number of pro-curiam orders per warrant. But the prevalence of unattributed opinions in cases involving more than standard language raises questions about its impact on judicial accountability and the development of the law. On 6 July, the Supreme Court decided both cases. In Chiafalo, Justice Elena Kagan wrote a majority opinion for eight judges. The court ruled that Article II of the Constitution empowers Washington to punish disloyal voters. Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the verdict, but disagreed with the majority`s arguments. In the first part of his opinion, Thomas concluded that Article II “does not speak directly to the power of a state over the voting of voters.” In Part II, he argued that states retain that power under the 10th Amendment. Justice Neil Gorsuch agreed with Part II of Thomas, but not with Part I.
Presumably, Gorsuch believes that states have power under both Article II and the 10th Amendment. In the end, this wrinkle made no difference to Chiafalo`s result. All nine judges ruled in Washington`s favor. Adj. Latin for “by the court” and defines a decision of a court of appeal as a whole in which no judge is identified as a specific author. Along with the shift from unanimity to discord that characterized Roosevelt`s court, this per curiam has also undergone changes in usage since its initial use in simple procedural matters. In the 1930s, the Supreme Court had begun to use per curiams to decide substantive cases with oral pleadings and to develop more in-depth advisory opinions. Beginning in the mid-1900s, the Court expanded the role of per curiam, transforming it into a strategic tool for quickly resolving urgent cases, as a shield against controversial issues, and as a means of enacting new laws by indirection. Through per curiam, the Court has sometimes sought to convey a message of consensus while taking more complicated and substantive decisions.
In addition, the per curiam became a practical tool for the Supreme Court to decide controversial cases, because “without any judge signing the opinion, there was no one who could be accused of evading difficult questions.” In addition to individual responsibility, the signed opinion reflects the role of judges as individual legislators. Each judge brings a unique philosophy and style. Knowledge of these philosophies and styles allows lower courts to develop law and lawyers to effectively adjust their arguments. But the label per curiam serves to obscure the identity of its author, thus obscuring the author`s jurisprudence, the importance of the decision, and the potential of the decision to influence future cases. The per curiam therefore hinders the proper development of the law. These sample phrases are automatically selected from various online information sources to reflect the current use of the word “per curiam”. The views expressed in the examples do not represent the views of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us your feedback. The Court may also rule on cases in which the author is not named. These reports often settle cases summarily, often without oral arguments, but they have been used in important well-argued cases such as Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, and Buckley v.
Campaign Finance v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1. For the 2016 term, the Supreme Court issued 9 pro-curiam decisions out of a total of 70 cases. How to explain Gorsuch`s subtle shift between Chiafalo and Baca? Perhaps he felt that once Chiafalo had decided, he was bound by his reasoning. As a result, he could have fully joined Baca without signaling that the same result could be achieved by Thomas` 10th Amendment argument. But it is not clear whether Gorsuch even agreed with Baca`s opinion per curiam. During the hearing, he expressed doubts as to the appropriateness of the Baca lawsuit, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It is even possible that Justice Stephen Breyer also disagreed with the majority; He expressed similar concerns at the hearing.
But with a pro curiam decision, there is no need for judges to signal their approval or dissenting opinion. The Florida Supreme Court frequently issues advisory opinions on the death penalty in a pro-curiam form, even when there are concurring and dissenting opinions on the majority.  The timing of the vote in one of the related Creek Nation cases is even more ambiguous. On July 9, the court ruled McGirt v. Oklahoma and Sharp v. Murphy. Both cases raised the same question: Did parts of eastern Oklahoma remain lands reserved for the Creek Nation? McGirt split 5:4. Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion. He found that the territory retained its Indian reserve status. It was joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.
Roberts disagreed, followed by Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh. The dissidents argued that Congress had lifted the reservation. (Latin, at court.) A term used to distinguish an opinion of the court as a whole from the opinion of an individual judge. The United States uses per curiam mainly for non-controversial cases. However, Canada has used the term “The Court” for important and controversial cases to emphasize that the Court is unanimous. [ref. needed] Quote: Ira Robbins, Scholarship highlight: The Supreme Court`s misuse of per curiam opinions, SCOTUSblog (October 5, 2012, 11:13 AM), www.scotusblog.com/2012/10/scholarship-highlight-the-supreme-courts-misuse-of-per-curiam-opinions/ U.S. Supreme Court decisions are generally not per curiam.  Their decisions often take the form of one or more opinions signed by individual judges, who are then joined by other judges.  Unanimous and signed opinions are not taken into account according to the Curiam decisions, because only the court can officially appoint expert opinions according to Curiam. Per curiam decisions are usually brief.  In modern practice, they are most often used in summary decisions rendered by the Court without full reasons or information.  The name is given at the beginning of the notice. One-line decisions per curiam are also rendered without consent or objection by a Supreme Court (a 4-4 decision) if the court has a vacancy. Opinions in private are drawn up by a single judge to rule on a party`s request for interim measures, for example: to stay the judgment of the lower court, to leave a stay or to issue an interim injunction. Most decisions of the Supreme Court and other U.S. courts are signed by individual judges. Even if the court makes a unanimous decision, it is not necessarily a matter of per curiam, and per curiam decisions are not necessarily unanimous. As a general rule, courts make decisions per curiam only on non-contentious issues.   And for more on the history of per curiam decisions, see this article in the Journal of Supreme Court History.
Traditionally, the opinion per curiam has been used to indicate that a case is not controversial and obvious, and does not require a substantive opinion. The early use of the term per curiam (“by the court”), first appearing in a decision issued by the Supreme Court in 1862, was consistent with the unity among judges that its name signifies.