Definition - What does Ripeness mean?

Ripeness is a quality of a court case that determines whether or not it is ready to be brought before the Supreme Court to be heard. A case is said to be ripe when all other avenues for resolution have been exhausted and when there is no other way to resolve the issue.

Justipedia explains Ripeness

The concept of ripeness is laid out in Article III of the Constitution. If a case is not ripe, then it cannot progress to superior courts to be resolved. A case may not be ripe if there are still methods of resolving the case in inferior courts.

The Supreme Court's time is extremely valuable, which is why only the most controversial and difficult cases are passed on to it. It is the Supreme Court's job to create rulings on these difficult and ripe cases.

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