plurality


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Plurality

The opinion of an appellate court in which more justices join than in any concurring opinion.

The excess of votes cast for one candidate over those votes cast for any other candidate.

Appellate panels are made up of three or more justices. In some cases the justices disagree over the outcome of the case to such an extent that a majority opinion cannot be achieved. (A majority opinion is one in which the number of justices who join is larger than the number of justices who do not.) To resolve such disagreements and reach a final decision, two or more justices publish opinions called concurring opinions, and the other justices decide which of these concurring opinions they will join. The concurring opinion in which more justices join than any other is called a plurality opinion. Plurality decisions can reflect a disagreement among the justices over a legal issue in a case or can reveal deeper ideological differences among the members of the court.

The term plurality is also used to describe the outcome of an election that involves more than two candidates. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is said to have received a plurality of the votes. In contrast, the term majority is used to describe the outcome of an election involving only two candidates; the winner is said to have received a majority of the votes.

A candidate who has a plurality of the votes can also have a majority of the votes, but only if she receives a number of votes greater than that cast for all the other candidates combined. Mathematically, a candidate with a plurality has a majority if she receives more than one-half of the total number of votes cast. If candidate John Doe has a plurality, he has earned more votes than any other candidate, but whether he has a majority depends on how many votes he won.

Cross-references

Court Opinion.

plurality

noun advantage in votes cast, bulk, great number, host, large amount, large number, large quantity, lead, main part, majority, multitude, multitudo, preponderancy, shoal, superiority in number, weight of numbers
Associated concepts: majority, quorum
See also: majority, mass, multiplicity, preponderance

PLURALITY, government. The greater number of votes given at an election; it is distinguished from a majority, (q.v.) which is a plurality of all the votes which might have been given; though in common parlance majority is used in the sense here given to plurality.

References in periodicals archive ?
Considering again the opinion of Justices Breyer and Kagan, a clue perhaps emerges as to why the plurality opinion reads this way.
My aim is plurality and that one organisation does not exercise overweening power.
His ethically inclusive response to religious plurality is squarely based on Islamic sources and provides new insights into the free nature of religious beliefs.
News Corporation said it believed Ofcom's analysis to be deficient in a number of ways and added the level of plurality in the UK has increased since 2003, when the Communications Act was enacted.
News Corporation said it believed Ofcom's analysis to be deficient in a number of ways and added that the level of plurality in the UK has increased since 2003, when the Communications Act was enacted.
After expounding his pluralistic relativism and its naturalistic basis, Wong examines both whether, by accepting a plurality of true moralities, one ends up losing confidence in one's commitments to a particular morality, and how one should act towards those who have (partially) different moral commitments.
Plurality develops advanced silicon Intellectual Property, chips and acceleration boards for manycore processing.
It is also taken to be the foundation of Cusanus's philosophy of religion, for it explains in which humanly understandable sense God may have allowed the existence of a plurality of religions: each individual, as well as each group, looks at God as being identical from a different point of view, and is looked upon by the same God from a different angle.
The plurality ruled that preventing involuntary movement is a legitimate justification for using pancuronium bromide: "The commonwealth has an interest in preserving the dignity of the procedure, especially where convulsions or seizures could be misperceived as signs of consciousness or distress.
Micromet AG (Munich, Germany) has patented a (poly)peptide construct consisting of at least two domains of at least two pluralities of domains wherein one of said domains or pluralities of domains comprises a de-immunized autoreactive antigen or (a) fragment(s) thereof specifically recognized by the Ig receptors of an autoreactive B-cells and wherein a/the further domain or plurality of domains comprises an effector molecule capable of interacting with and/or of activating NK-cells, T-cells, macrophages, monocytes and/or granulocytes.
Once enough states signed up, a popular vote plurality would turn into a majority of electoral votes.
Second, Scobie's oversimplification of the plurality of canons among Christian communions is symptomatic of a Protestant bias and an oversimplification that is inherent in his project.