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A Doubtful and Perilous ExperimentAdvisory Opinions, State Constitutions, and Judicial Supremacy$

Mel A. Topf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756766.001.0001

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(p.187) Appendix A Advisory Opinion Provisions

(p.187) Appendix A Advisory Opinion Provisions

Source:
A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Alabama

The Governor, by a request in writing, or either house of the Legislature, by a resolution of such house, may obtain a written opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court of Alabama or a majority thereof on important constitutional questions.

The justices of the Supreme Court may request briefs from the Attorney General, and may receive briefs from other attorneys as amici curiae as to such questions as may be propounded to them for their answers.

The opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court or a majority of them shall be a protection to the officers and departments of the state acting in accordance therewith in the same manner and to the same extent as opinions of the Attorney General of the state; and, in the event of a conflict between the opinions of the Attorney General and the opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court rendered in accordance with this article, the opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court shall take precedence and prevail. All opinions of the justices of the Supreme Court heretofore rendered in accordance with this article shall have the protective force and effect provided for in this article.

Ala. Code sec. 12-2-10, 11, and 12 (1995)

Colorado

The supreme court shall give its opinion on important questions upon solemn occasions when required by the governor, the senate, or the house of representatives; and all such opinions shall be published in connection with the reported decision of said court.

Colo. Const. art. VI, sec. 3

(p.188) Delaware

  1. (a) The Justices of the Supreme Court, whenever the Governor of this State or a majority of the members elected to each House may by resolution require it for public information, or to enable them to discharge their duties, may give them their opinion in writing touching the proper construction of any provision in the Constitution of this State, or of the United States, or the constitutionality of any law or legislation passed by the General Assembly, or the constitutionality of any proposed constitutional amendment which shall have been first agreed to by two-thirds of all members elected to each House.

  2. (b) The Justices of the Supreme Court may appoint 1 or more members of the Delaware Bar, duly qualified to practice before said Court, for the purpose of briefing or arguing the legal issue submitted by the Governor or General Assembly.

  3. (c) If the Governor should request an advisory opinion from the Court, he shall, within 5 days, notify the leadership of both Houses by sending them a copy of such request. If the General Assembly should request an advisory opinion from the Court, The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall within 5 days notify the Governor by sending him a copy of such request.

  4. (d) Upon receipt of such advisory opinion from the Supreme Court the Governor or General Assembly shall, within 5 days, notify the opposite party by sending a copy of such advisory opinion.

Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, sec. 141(a), (b), (c)

Florida

The governor may request in writing the opinion of the justices of the supreme court as to the interpretation of any portion of this constitution upon any question affecting his executive powers and duties. The justices shall, subject to their rules of procedure, permit interested persons to be heard on the questions presented and shall render their written opinion not earlier than ten days from the filing and docketing of the request, unless in their judgment the delay would cause public injury.

Fla. Const. art. IV, sec. 1(c)

Maine

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court shall be obliged to give their opinion upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions, when required by the Governor, Senate, or House of Representatives.

Me. Const. art VI, sec. 3

(p.189) Massachusetts

Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor or the council, shall have the authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.

Mass. Const. pt. II, ch. 3, art. 2

Michigan

Either house of the legislature or the governor may request the opinion of the supreme court on important questions of law upon solemn occasions as to the constitutionality of legislation after it has been enacted into law but before its effective date.

Mich. Const. art. III, sec. 8

New Hampshire

Each branch of the legislature as well as the governor and the council shall have the authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme court upon important questions of law and upon solemn occasions.

N. H. Const. pt. II, art. 74

Rhode Island

The judges of the supreme court shall give their written opinion upon any question of law whenever requested by the governor or by either house of the general assembly.

R. I. Const. art. X, sec. 3

South Dakota

The Governor has authority to require opinions of the Supreme Court upon important questions of law involved in the exercise of his executive power and upon solemn occasions.

S. D. Const. art. V, sec. 5 (p.190)