Seriatim

Author:Dennis J. Mahoney
Pages:2387
 
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Page 2387

(Latin: "Severally" or "in series.") Members of multijudge courts sometimes deliver individual opinions seriatim rather than joining in a single " OPINION OF THE COURT." Before JOHN MARSHALL became Chief Justice, the Supreme Court followed this practice, requiring each Justice to explain his DECISION. Opinions delivered seriatim are necessarily less authoritative than those that carry the weight of the full Court or a majority of the Justices. For that reason Marshall abandoned the established practice in favor of giving an opinion of the court. THOMAS JEFFERSON, both in 1787 and later as President, favored a constitutional requirement that Supreme...

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