Fact checking & Correcting the USA Today “Supreme Court likely to vote on health care law Friday” article

Fact checking & Correcting the USA Today “Supreme Court likely to vote on health care law Friday” article
I am not a lawyer and don’t even play one in my dreams but I think the USA Today article (see below for article link) has given an incorrectly impression that US Supreme Court justices’ votes today is final when it is not.

Quoting Wikipedia,

At this conference, each justice – in order from most to least senior – states the basis on which he or she would decide the case, and a preliminary vote is taken.

and the explanation under the title

Circulating draft opinions and changing of views

I honestly expected more informed and precise reporting from widely read publication like the USA Today. Well, I overestimated USA Today. By the way, as a legal geek for some years now (again, I am not a lawyer). I want to point out an interesting difference in the decision making processor between Supreme Court of Canada and Supreme Court of US

In Canada,

They sit at a round table in the room and each judge gives their opinion of the case, starting with the least senior judge [ending with the Chief Justice.

In US,

At this conference, each justice – in order from most to least senior – states the basis on which he or she would decide the case, and a preliminary vote is taken.

My personal take is the Canadian approach is superior in eliciting wider range of freely given opinions where even the most junior justice is given a full opportunity to express his/her view without constrained by more senior justices’ expressed opinions, let alone opinions from the Chief Justice. Of course, some would argue that as supreme court justices of any country of any seniority, the justices can say whatever he/she wants. But I, unscientifically, suspect human nature will limit and restrict opinion expressed in the US model.

What do you think?

References:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/story/2012-03-29/health-care-court-vote/53873778/1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedures_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_Canada#Reasons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedures_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States#Forming_opinions

See section 10 (last page). “Court Conference” retired Justice Binnie’s discussion of “sundown rule
http://online.cle.bc.ca/CourseMaterial/pdfs/2001/262_13_1.pdf

“In the months following the hearing there is a lot of writing and rewriting and there is debate amongst the judges who sat on the case about how propositions should be formulated and what should be put in and what should be left out, and there is supplementary research done on points of difficulty, and the air is filled with memoranda to and fro the judges. Opinions are modified. Minds are changed. If the court is closely divided on a particular appeal, the outcome could shift.

P.S. I want to emphasize that my point is the Supreme Court justices can change their opinions. I am not saying whether they will or will not in this case.

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