The Supreme Court's growing tendency to resort to "plurality opinions" has produced substantial uncertainty among the bench and bar as to the precedential value of cases so decided. In this Article, Professors Davis and Reynolds demonstrate that the ambivalent nature of the plurality opinion adversely affects the Court's extra-legal leadership functions and its own internal process of developing the law, as well as the precedential value of the increasing number of decisions announced in that format. After examining various factors which tend to generate plurality decisions, the authors suggest that the refinement of two existing methods of decision-formulation could possibly alleviate the problems created by the plurality opinion.
John F. Davis & William L. Reynolds,
Juridical Cripples: Plurality Opinions in the Supreme Court,
1974 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol23/iss1/2