114) Over the next 50 years, individual, seriatim opinions
were gradually faded out, but dissenting opinions nonetheless remained.
In terms of the court's functioning, he has allowed the conservative bloc to return to something like the seriatim opinion
, producing decisions that begin like this gem in Adarand Constructors v.
36) Marshall brought the practice of seriatim opinion
writing to an abrupt end: of the sixty-seven non-per curiam opinions issued by the Court between 1801 and 1806, Marshall's name alone was attached to sixty; the remaining decisions were delivered by another Justice or in the seriatim style, but only due to Marshall's absence or recusal from the matter.
The practice of having the Chief Justice's seriatim opinion
appear just before the "By the Court" dispositional paragraph may have subtly strengthened the effect of that opinion, and the Chief's habitual delivery of Court opinions, whether or not he had written them, may have served to identify the Chief more closely with the Court than other Justices.
In its early years, after the adoption of the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Court, following the practice of English common-law courts--specifically the King's Bench--typically rendered decisions in the form of per curiam and seriatim opinions
43) For example, Professor David Currie noted the difficulty posed in extracting a holding from the seriatim opinions
in the early and still important case of Calder v Bull (1798) 3 U.
61 ("This practice of seriatim opinions
would persist until the appointment of Marshall, who put an abrupt end to it.
A single opinion of the Court is more powerful than a group of seriatim opinions
because a single opinion gives "the Court an institutional voice .
In the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Jay, more important cases were generally dealt with in seriatim opinions
, and briefer, unattributed opinions or decrees were labeled by Dallas as being "by the Court.
13) His arguments in respect of institutional efforts to cement the Court with the rule of law have very limited relevance to the Australian context where the High Court's use of seriatim opinions
far outstrips the occurrence of unanimity.
11) Marshall abandoned the practice of delivering seriatim opinions
in the first case decided after he became Chief Justice.
96) In adopting the single opinion, Marshall deliberately departed from the traditional mode of seriatim opinions
by each of the Justices, which had prevailed under his predecessors and was also the custom in both the state and English courts.