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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Atlanta, Georgia, United States
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    Default Can Supreme Court Justices Sue Each Other

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: US

    I hope this is in the correct subject area. I'm just curious as to whether this is possible. I ask because I always see government entities suing other government entities and was wondering whether it is constitutional for supreme court justices to sue each other if they reach an impasse. I am not an attorney, so please respond in simple terms.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Can Supreme Court Justices Sue Each Other

    do you mean concerning their voting on a case before them? No. They are all entitled to their own vote and since there is an odd number of justices, you cannot have an impasse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Can Supreme Court Justices Sue Each Other

    On those rare occasions when there is (e.g., a justice recuses himself and the remaining vote is evenly divided) the lower court opinion stands.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    3,835

    Default Re: Can Supreme Court Justices Sue Each Other

    Quote Quoting matador
    View Post
    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: US

    I hope this is in the correct subject area. I'm just curious as to whether this is possible. I ask because I always see government entities suing other government entities and was wondering whether it is constitutional for supreme court justices to sue each other if they reach an impasse. I am not an attorney, so please respond in simple terms.
    NO, it is not constitutional.

    When the 1st Court was organized in 1789, it only had 6 members. A Chief Justice and 5 Associate Justices.

    As Aaron points out, if a vote is tie, the decision of the lower court stands and according to the currect U.S. Code, only 6 members is needed for a quorum. Congress sets the # of Justices, per the Constitution.

    Governments sue each other yes. New York and New Jersey were in litigation to decide who owned Ellis Island.

    I live in Ohio, we and Kentucky many decades ago were in court to decide the exact boundary in the Ohio River.

    When one state sues another, the Supreme Court has Original jurisdiction according to the Constitution to hear the case, no inferior court hears them, no appeals.


    When govt. entities sue each other, it is either an Original jurisdiction question OR a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, seeking a declaration of the rights of the Plaintiff, usually with an Injunction asked for to enforce it.

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