19) Most cases were ultimately determined by intermediate appellate courts, including the Exchequer Chamber, the Court of Common Pleas, and the King's Bench, which regularly issued seriatim opinions
that were transcribed by reporters.
43) Seriatim opinions
require state courts to puzzle out the meaning of each case, making their task more difficult when performed in good faith while giving more room for manoeuvre to state judges seeking to minimize the constraint imposed by the Court's decisions.
While Chief Justice Marshall persuaded his colleagues that the Court should abandon its practice of seriatim opinions
and speak with a single voice, (268) Justices started to dissent at increased rates, starting in the 1930s and accelerating in the 1950s.
13) In many cases, there were no official statements of the Court's reasoning at all, (14) and, where we do have seriatim opinions
, they represent each Justice's comments on the case--usually brief ones, as far as we can tell.
The practice of publishing dissenting opinions in common law countries originally comes from the tradition of the English courts wherein judges rendered their judgments by individual seriatim opinions
The English judiciary has a tradition of seriatim opinions
to decide a case in which each judge offers his or her own opinion.
51) Chief Justice Marshall bolstered the Court's authority by eliminating its practice of issuing seriatim opinions
, and instituting a new practice of announcing the Court's judgment in a single opinion of the Court.
power to require the justices to file seriatim opinions
in all cases.
The actual origin of the Supreme Court's seriatim practice is something of a mystery--perhaps the Court was following the model of some colonial or state courts--but in any event, it is obvious that the use of seriatim opinions
limited the Chief Justice's ability to take the Court in any particular direction.
13) His arguments in respect of institutional efforts to cement the Court with the rule of law have very limited relevance to the Australian context where the High Court's use of seriatim opinions
far outstrips the occurrence of unanimity.
11) Marshall abandoned the practice of delivering seriatim opinions
in the first case decided after he became Chief Justice.
29) A summary order stating the Court's overall disposition of the case would sometimes follow the seriatim opinions