Cite as: 510 U. S. 27 (1993)
Stevens, J., dissenting
Our opinion in Yee explains why Rule 14.1(a) ordinarily bars consideration of unpresented questions. First, the rule provides notice and prevents surprise, thus ensuring full briefing; second, the rule allows the Court to select only cases which present important questions and to focus its attention on those questions. Yee, 503 U. S., at 535-536. Neither reason applies here. There was no surprise, because the intervention issue was raised in the petition for certiorari and in petitioner's opening brief, and respondent argued the propriety of denying intervention at every opportunity. Nor did failure to use the word "intervention" in the "Question Presented" section of the petition for certiorari interfere with the efficient selection of cases for plenary review, since the Court was fully aware that the issue needed to be resolved in order to reach the vacation issue. It is not surprising that Yee's explanation of Rule 14.1(a) does not fit the circumstances of this case, because Rule 14.1(a) was never intended to provide the basis for dismissal, and, before today, was never used for that purpose.9
The Court today suggests an additional argument for strict enforcement of Rule 14.1(a), that "there would also be a natural tendency—to be consciously resisted, of course—to reverse the holding of the Court of Appeals on the intervention question in order that we could address the merits of the question on which we actually granted certiorari." Ante, at 34. Reliance on such a flimsy argument underestimates the character and the quality of the Court's decisional processes. Moreover, this argument overlooks the fact that the Court
cided the issue in another case. 504 U. S., at 43-45. In this case, a comparable response to the prudential rule precluding review of the issue not expressly mentioned in the "question presented" would simply note that the intervention issue was discussed in another section of the certiorari petition. Most importantly, the majority misses the point of the passage quoted from Williams. The majority in that case noted that "even if" the prudential rule were violated, "it would be imprudent . . . to reverse course at this late stage." Id., at 40.
9 See n. 6, supra.
39Page: Index Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next
Last modified: October 4, 2007