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What Causes a Case to Reach the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land. For this reason, few cases make it before the Justices every year while the Court is in session. 

Types of Cases the Supreme Court Will Hear

The Supreme Court has the authority to hear different kinds of cases, including civil and criminal. However, it generally only takes cases with one or more of the following issues:

  • Conflict of Law: There are multiple federal circuit courts, and sometimes, these courts reach different conclusions, so the Supreme Court may need to step in
  • Great Public Importance: The Supreme Court will intervene in cases featuring issues that affect the public, like abortion or race
  • Disregarding Past Supreme Court Decisions: If a court issues a ruling that blatantly disregards a previous Supreme Court decision, the Supreme Court can step in to correct or overrule it
  • Unsettled Law: If a state or appeals court has decided on a case that involves an important question of federal law, the Supreme Court can settle the matter

When a case does not involve these issues, it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will choose to hear it. The Supreme Court is very selective and hears only about 100 to 150 cases out of over 7,000 cases submitted each year. 

How a Case Reaches the Supreme Court

Typically, a case can make it up to the Supreme Court in one of three ways:

  • Appeal from a federal circuit court
  • Appeal from a state supreme court
  • Original jurisdiction

If a case is on appeal, you can submit a petition to the Court for review by asking it to grant a writ of certiorari. When granted, the lower court sends up the records of the case for review. 

If the case does not come up from a lower court but rather starts at the Supreme Court, it means the Court has original jurisdiction.

Seek Guidance from a Qualified Attorney

Allow the attorneys at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell to use their skills and experience to handle your case. Contact us online or at (813) 360-1529 to schedule a consultation. 

Posted in Lawsuit