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If all nine justices hear a case, a simple majority of five must agree on a decision.

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A decision requires a simple majority of the Justices hearing the case (sometimes fewer than nine justices are available). In the typical instance that all nine Supreme Court justices provide an opinion, a majority must consist of at least five votes; if eight justices are present, a decision still requires five votes; if six or seven justices are present, a decision requires at least four votes.

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Q: What is the closest possible decision if all justices are present?
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Why does the Supreme Court require a simple majority for a decision rather than five votes?

If all nine justices hear a case, five must agree on a decision because five votes represents a simple majority of the full court.A decision requires a simple majority of the Justices hearing the case; sometimes fewer than nine justices are available. In the typical instance that all nine Supreme Court justices provide an opinion, a majority must consist of at least five votes; if eight justices are present, a decision still requires five votes; if six or seven justices are present, a decision requires at least four votes. The Court requires a quorum (the minimum number to conduct official business) of at least six justices to hear a case or conduct a vote.On the current Court, votes are often split by ideology. Many decisions are resolved as 5-4 votes because four of the Court members are conservative and four are progressive. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who could be regarded as being center-right, is often the swing voter determining which side is in the majority.Those jurists who disagree with the majority are permitted -- but not required -- to write dissenting opinions which also form part of the record, and may be cited in future litigation.In the event of tie votes by the Supreme Court, the lower court's ruling in the case being considered is upheld without comment. In other words, the Supreme Court issues no permanent decision on the laws involved in the case. Optionally, the Court may choose to hear reargument on the case, with the addition of the justice or justices who weren't present during the original oral arguments.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


When can US Supreme Court justices question lawyers?

The US Supreme Court justices question the attorneys representing the parties to a case during oral arguments. Each attorney has 30 minutes to present his or her reason the justices should find in favor of his client, as well as clarify points and answer any questions the justices raise. The justices are usually better prepared and know more about the case, precedents and applicable law than the attorneys, and often grill them.Oral arguments occur after all parties have submitted their briefs and the justices read the briefs and relevant case law, but before they vote on the case.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


What was the effect of the Supreme Court decision described in this headline?

police were required to inform suspects of their right to remain silent and have a lawyer present during questioning the decision established the clear and present danger test judging free speech


How many us supreme court justices have been appointed by democratic presidents?

On the current court, four were appointed by Democrats. Clinton appointed Ginsburg and Breyer; Obama appointed Sotomayer and Kagan.


How does the US Supreme Court reach a decision for the cases it hears?

The Supreme Court of the United States maintains its own website that includes the decision and written opinion of cases for the past few years. The decision is usually uploaded to the site the same day the decision is issued, and is the best source for up-to-date information. Other sites, such as Oyez.org and Justia have online databases of Supreme Court decisions from the present Term all the way back to the Court's first recorded case. Justia has excellent tools that allow a user to search by case name, year or US Reports Volume number. For more information, see Related Links, below.

Related questions

What is the closest possiable decision if all justices are present?

Five to Four


If a case is being heard by the US Supreme Court what is the closest decision that can be made if all justices are there?

The Supreme Court requires a simple majority vote for a decision. If all nine justices are present, the closest possible vote would be 5-4.


What type of vote is required for a majority decision in the US Supreme Court?

For a case to be heard before the U. S. Supreme Court there must be a quorum. This requires at least six Justices to be present. There is a total of nine Justices on the Supreme Court but illness or recusals could cause less than 9 on a case. For a decision to be rendered it requires a majority of the Justices hearing the case. If all Justices are present the majority would require 5 or more to met this requirement.


What is the minimum vote required in the supreme court for a decision pass?

In the US Supreme Court, a decision requires a simple majority of the justices hearing the case. If all nine justices are present, the minimum for for a majority is 5 votes of 9.


What can the leaders do at the end of the brainstorming process?

Present all possible courses of action to decision makers


What is a pronoun for all but two present-day Justices?

The pronouns that takes the place of two or more people are they as a subject and them as an object. Examples:All but two of the present day Justices were present. Theywere attending a reception that was given for them.


Why does the Supreme Court require a simple majority for a decision rather than five votes?

If all nine justices hear a case, five must agree on a decision because five votes represents a simple majority of the full court.A decision requires a simple majority of the Justices hearing the case; sometimes fewer than nine justices are available. In the typical instance that all nine Supreme Court justices provide an opinion, a majority must consist of at least five votes; if eight justices are present, a decision still requires five votes; if six or seven justices are present, a decision requires at least four votes. The Court requires a quorum (the minimum number to conduct official business) of at least six justices to hear a case or conduct a vote.On the current Court, votes are often split by ideology. Many decisions are resolved as 5-4 votes because four of the Court members are conservative and four are progressive. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who could be regarded as being center-right, is often the swing voter determining which side is in the majority.Those jurists who disagree with the majority are permitted -- but not required -- to write dissenting opinions which also form part of the record, and may be cited in future litigation.In the event of tie votes by the Supreme Court, the lower court's ruling in the case being considered is upheld without comment. In other words, the Supreme Court issues no permanent decision on the laws involved in the case. Optionally, the Court may choose to hear reargument on the case, with the addition of the justice or justices who weren't present during the original oral arguments.For more information, see Related Questions, below.


How many justices need to agree with each other to issue a majority decision?

AnswerIf all nine justices hear a case, a simple majority of five must agree on a decision.ExplanationA decision requires a simple majority of the Justices hearing the case (sometimes fewer than nine justices are available). In the typical instance that all nine Supreme Court justices provide an opinion, a majority must consist of at least five votes; if eight justices are present, a decision still requires five votes; if six or seven justices are present, a decision requires at least four votes.The Court requires a quorum of at least six to hear a case or conduct a vote. On the current Court, votes are often split by ideology. Many decisions are resolved as 5-4 votes because four of the Court members are conservative and four are progressive. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who could be regarded as being center-right, is often the swing voter determining which side is in the majority.Those jurists who disagree with the majority are permitted - but not required - to write dissenting opinions which also form part of the record, and may be cited in future litigation.In the event of tie votes by the Supreme Court, the lower court's ruling in the case being considered is upheld without comment. In other words, the Supreme Court issues no permanent decision on the laws involved in the case. Optionally, the Court may choose to hear reargument on the case, with the addition of the justice or justices who weren't present during the original oral arguments.


Why did chief justice warren and justice frankfurter want added time to the supreme court to decide on brown v board of education?

To present a united decision to the nation


Is the troposphere closest to the ozone layer?

Troposphere is closest to stratosphere. The ozone is present in the stratosphere.


Which is the closest antonym for the word former?

Current or present is the closest antonym for the word former.


Why did justice frankfurter want added time for the supreme court to decide on brown v board of education?

He wanted to present a united decision to the nation