If the supreme court broke the rule of four, where would you go to sue them in order to get an injunction to make them not break it?

For those who don't know, the rule of four is the rule that requires only 4 members of the supreme court to grant certiori/review of a case.

  • Rule of 4 is unwritten from what I understand. Typically who voted to hear something is not published unless a judge issued a dissent.
    – Viktor
    Feb 8, 2016 at 23:40
  • There is no higher judicial authority than the Supreme Court. You could ask them to reconsider, or you could try to get Congress and the President to pass a new law. You can't force them to abide by a rule that the court itself made up.
    – phoog
    Feb 9, 2016 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


The petitioners in the case could file either a motion or a petition for a an extraordinary writ of mandamus, for example, both of which are allowed by the court rules, on seeing four dissents from the denial of certiorari. The rule of four is custom, but it is such longstanding custom that the Supreme Court might well hear your motion or your case--although then Supreme Court procedure would be what they care about, which is a really hard position from which to argue that the case below should be reversed.

Note, btw, that the rule of four isn't as effective as it used to be because of the cert pool.

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