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R, Rule of Four,

Edited By: Kermit L. Hall, James W. Ely Jr., Joel B. Grossman

From: The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2nd Edition)

Edited By: Kermit L. Hall

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 07 June 2023

Rule of Four,

term that describes the Supreme Court’s long-standing practice of reviewing a case if four justices favor granting the petition for *certiorari. The rule was apparently developed by the justices as a procedural device after the Courts of Appeals Act of 1891 enlarged the Supreme Court’s discretionary jurisdiction (see judiciary act of 1869). The rule, which became public knowledge in 1924, assures that the Court will hear cases that a substantial minority of justices regards as important.

James W. Ely, Jr.