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Definition of Opinion

An opinion is a document written by a judge which explains the judge's ruling. It accompanies the legal decision. If the opinion sets precedent, challenges an existing law, or provides a novel interpretation of the law if it is published and becomes part of the nation's case law which is utilized in future legal cases. If a judge believes their legal opinion may be used in future case law they will take considerable care to draft their opinions.

In the Supreme Court where multiple judges are providing an opinion there may be one judge who is asked to provide the majority opinion. Other judges who disagree with the majority opinion will outline their objections in a dissenting opinion. If one judge writes the majority opinion but another judge wants to add their opinion they can provide a concurring opinion with their own ideas and thoughts. Legal opinions by the Supreme Court are very important opinions with lasting legal implications the United States.

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