Opinion of the Court
the respondent to sharpen the arguments as to why certiorari should not be granted. Were we routinely to consider questions beyond those raised in the petition, the respondent would lack any opportunity in advance of litigation on the merits to argue that such questions are not worthy of review. Where, as is not unusual, the decision below involves issues on which the petitioner does not seek certiorari, the respondent would face the formidable task of opposing certiorari on every issue the Court might conceivably find present in the case. By forcing the petitioner to choose his questions at the outset, Rule 14.1(a) relieves the respondent of the expense of unnecessary litigation on the merits and the burden of opposing certiorari on unpresented questions.
Second, Rule 14.1(a) assists the Court in selecting the cases in which certiorari will be granted. Last Term alone we received over 5,000 petitions for certiorari, but we have the capacity to decide only a small fraction of these cases on the merits. To use our resources most efficiently, we must grant certiorari only in those cases that will enable us to resolve particularly important questions. Were we routinely to entertain questions not presented in the petition for certiorari, much of this efficiency would vanish, as parties who feared an inability to prevail on the question presented would be encouraged to fill their limited briefing space and argument time with discussion of issues other than the one on which certiorari was granted. Rule 14.1(a) forces the parties to focus on the questions the Court has viewed as particularly important, thus enabling us to make efficient use of our resources.
We granted certiorari on a single question pertaining to the Takings Clause: "Two federal courts of appeal have held that the transfer of a premium value to a departing mobile-home tenant, representing the value of the right to occupy at a reduced rate under local mobilehome rent control ordinances, constitute[s] an impermissible taking. Was it error for the state appellate court to disregard the rulings andPage: Index Previous 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007