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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the literature on opinion writing, focusing on the United States Supreme Court. It is important to understand the words used, the reasoning employed, and the tests devised by the Court. It is the legal rule extracted from the rationale of the decision that provides guidance for the future. Thus, the opinion of the court matters, not just the vote on the merits, and understanding how the opinion writing process works is essential to understanding the development of the law. This chapter includes a summary of the research on opinion assignment, the influence of law clerks in writing opinions, coalition formation, concurrences and dissents, and research analyzing the content of court opinions.

Keywords: opinion writing, Supreme Court, coalition formation, content of court opinions, bargaining and accommodation, opinion assignment, concurrences, dissents

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