DID YOU KNOW?

Neither the Supreme Court, nor most state supreme courts, have to decide every case brought to them. The role of these courts is to make final pronouncements as to what the law is, not to resolve disputes. In general, if there’s a lower court that hears appeals, that court will be the one that has to hear every appeal. The top-level courts usually consider whether there are good policy reasons to take a case, so simply saying “the lower court got it wrong” usually won’t convince them. If the court doesn’t want to hear a case, and the law gives it that choice, it can simply say “no.” That isn’t an official statement of how the court would rule if it did hear the case, but sometimes it can be seen as a clue.

 

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