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Report No. 58

The U.S. Supreme Court compared

2.19. A comparison with the U.S. Supreme Court is worthwhile in this connection. It is well-known that, as a matter of working practice, the Supreme Court of the U.S.A. by exercising discretionary control over its own jurisdiction, has become essentially a 'public law tribunal'1. The workload of the court places a premium on the time of the Justices, which is, as Justice Frankfurter noted, directly related to the quality of their judicial work-product.

"The judgments of this Court are collective judgments. They presuppose ample time and freshness of mind for private study and reflection in preparation for discussion at Conference." "Without adequate study there cannot be adequate reflection; without adequate reflection there cannot be adequate discussion; without adequate discussion there cannot be that fruitful interchange of minds which is indispensable to thoughtful, unhurried decision and its formulation in learned and impressive opinions."1

1. See Frankfurter and Landis "The Supreme Court under the Judiciary Act of 1925", (1925) 42 Harvard Law Review 1, 18.

2. Dlek v. New York Life Ins. Co., (1959) 359 US 437 (458-459) (dissenting opinion).

Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary Back

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