How does the United States Supreme Court decide whether it will review a case?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Every year the U.S. Supreme Court receives thousands of requests to have the high court hear specific cases. Experts estimate that roughly 5000 requests are made annually. These petitions, called writs of certiorari, are essentially pleas stating, "please hear my case." Each justice on the U.S. Supreme Court has a number of skilled law clerks working for him or her and these clerks review every writ of certiorari and submit a "cert memo" regarding the writs they review to the justice they are assigned. The judges review the memos and hold a conference to determine which of these cases should go on the court's docket.

    The "Rule of Four" controls matters when deciding which issues the high court will hear. If four justices agree that a specific writ of certiorari should be granted, then the case will be placed on the Supreme Court's docket and an order stating that certiorari has been granted will be issued to the petitioner.

  • 1 decade ago

    You'd have to ask each justice. They have the discretion to decide which cases it will hear. Many cases are appealed to the Supreme Court every year, and only a fraction are actually heard.

    Source(s): lawyer
  • 1 decade ago

    Usually from a court of appeals recommendation, from a prominent attorney's request, or from a lower court passing it up.

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