When the Supreme Court hears a case it can take a while for it to issue a verdict. Typically, after hearing oral arguments, the Justices have to decide the case. They do so at what is known as the Justices' Conference. When Court is in session, there are two conferences scheduled per week – one on Wednesday afternoon and one on Friday afternoon.
After each Justice states their views on the casein confrence, the justices cast their vote starting with the Chief Justice.
When exactly does the Supreme Court's decision become binding on lower courts in the country?
Does the opinion become binding right after the justices cast their vote or not until they publish their opinion months later? Assuming not until later, would a unanimous decision be binding right away?
If not, are lower courts free to disregard the Supreme Court's votes until an official opinion is published during the summer?