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Constitutional Law

Article III

2012

Georgetown University Law Center

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Advisory Adjudication, Girardeau A. Spann Jan 2012

Advisory Adjudication, Girardeau A. Spann

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The Supreme Court decision in Camreta v. Greene is revealing. The Court first issues an opinion authorizing appeals by prevailing parties in qualified immunity cases, even though doing so entails the issuance of an advisory opinion that is not necessary to resolution of the dispute between the parties. And the Court then declines to reach the merits of the underlying constitutional claim in the case, because doing so would entail the issuance of an advisory opinion that was not necessary to the resolution of the dispute between the parties. The Court's decision, therefore, has the paradoxical effect of both honoring …