Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

United States Supreme Court Filings

This page is under construction, but please note the following:

Cases are accepted before the United States Supreme Court (“U.S. S Ct.”) by filing a Petition for Writ of Certiorari (essentially an appeal) or a Petition for Writ of Mandamus.

Citizens do not have an automatic right to appeal to the U.S. S. Ct.  – appeal is by permission.

The court takes about 70-80 cases a year out of about 8,000 petitions submitted. Therefore, they WILL NOT take a case if you phrase it as simply an appeal of a case that you lost.  The two most important sections are the “Questions Presented for Review” such as “May a State Execute a person who committed a crime as a juvenile?” and the section designated “Reason for Granting this petition.”

If you write questions which are related to previous holdings of the U.S. S Ct. such as: “May the State of Alabama execute a person who is 14 years old or is this a violation of previous U.S. Supreme Court holdings and the Eighth Amendment bar to cruel and unusual punishment”, then you have a better chance of your case being taken because the U.S. S Ct. wants to uphold its previous rulings and for example, with this question, they could simply make a per curium (by the whole court without any one justice taking credit for writing it) order without even having the case briefed because they could simply order that since they previous ruled that this would be unconstitutional, the State may not execute a 14 year old and they would remand it back to the Trial Court for resentencing “consistent with this oinion.”

If you are not asking them to enforce a previous order, then you should have amicus briefs (“friend of the court” briefs) from interested experts or foundations or organizations submitted by their lawyers at the same time you file your petition to prove that the questions in your case are so significant to the country or so many other people, or because there is a conflict between different state’s high court rulings on the same question or a conflict between differet Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals‘ rulings on the questions presented that need the U.S. S Ct. to resolve.

The purpose of this high court is not to correct wrongs, but to solve questions where there are conflicts that can not be solved by other courts, to enforce its previous orders when the appellate courts refuse to do so, and to solve issues that are of extreme and/or widespread importance to the country. Therefore, in your reasons for granting the petitions you should have a several page argument explaining the above.

If you are simply asking for them to review your case, they will NEVER take it and they will simply deny your petition without ruling on the issues or taking sides. You must be able to make a convincing argument about the above. You also must make a convincing argument as to how you have exhausted your other options for remedy in courts below the high court.

Please go to the category or tag cloud at your right, click it and read my articles which refer to U.S. S Ct. cases and read the  actual petitions in the links so that you familiarize yourself with the above principles.

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