Douglas, for example, wrote seventy-one dissents, twenty-one concurrences, and five other opinions separate from per curiams during his time on the Court.
Per curiams have also been a means for the Court to act expeditiously in a time of war in Ex parte Quirin, (94) to answer a time-sensitive First Amendment issue in New York Times Co.
Second, periodic departures from the practice (by use of per curiams or other alternative opinion delivery devices) demonstrate the Justices' awareness that anonymity can enhance institutional credibility.
210, 74 (2000) (attributing a decline in the number of per curiams issued by the Nebraska and Utah supreme courts to the establishment of courts of appeal that reduced the high court workload in those states); Note, Supreme Court Per Curiam Practice: A Critique, 69 HARV.
supra note 77, at 35 (citing data from a sample of cases decided between 1969 and 1981, which showed that 30 percent of signed opinions were unanimous, whereas 44 percent of per curiams were unanimous).
In the United States, with the relatively rare exception of per curiam opinions and a handful of other procedural oddities, (17) each high court decision is issued under the name of the Justice who wrote it.
21) Part II considers what can be learned from those instances in which the Court departs from its standard operating procedure and issues its decision by per curiam opinion or other procedural anomaly.
45) Neither president got his wish in terms of a return to seriatim opinion delivery, (46) but their comments are nevertheless relevant to the discussion that follows regarding use of the per curiam opinion (47) and the decisionmaking methodologies of other nations' high courts.
USE OF THE PER CURIAM OPINION AND OTHER PROCEDURAL ANOMALIES
Per curiam opinions--those issued "by the court" with no individual Justice's name attached (70)--have been alternatively praised and criticized by Court observers and by the Justices themselves.
Before considering the Court's use of the per curiam opinion, it is useful to define precisely what a per curiam opinion is.
Although per curiam opinions have a somewhat higher rate of unanimity than signed opinions, they are not always unanimous.