Plurality Opinion

Definition - What does Plurality Opinion mean?

A plurality opinion is an opinion that represents a majority of opinions from a group of judges. Plurality opinions become relevant when there is no distinct majority on a particular ruling. For example, if there are 10 judges on a panel, and if six of them agree on a ruling but only four of them agree on the reasoning, then the opinion of the four judges in agreement on the reasoning would be the plurality opinion.

Justipedia explains Plurality Opinion

Plurality opinions are often cited when a particular aspect of the case is called into question. Plurality opinions are different to standard majority opinions. Standard majority opinions express the court's stance on a particular issue, and they can determine innocence or guilt, lawful or not lawful, etc.

Plurality opinions typically only reflect that there was disagreement among the judges regarding the reasoning behind a particular ruling. Sometimes plurality opinions are cited, but standard majority opinions are usually much more important.

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