The holding of a court is the ratio decidendi or the ground(s) upon which it bases its DECISION of a case. The holding, includes all the court's declarations of law necessary to the decision of the case; other pronouncements are OBITER DICTA. The holding in a case establishes a precedent and may be generalized into a DOCTRINE. The term may also be used more narrowly to signify the court's resolution of any particular legal issue or question of constitutional interpretation presented in a case.
DENNIS J. MAHONEY