U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it dramatically clear this month that they don’t only speak through formal decisions, instead using a range of other vehicles to influence the court’s agenda and telegraph their views to lower court judges, practitioners and to each other.

During November the court handed down only one signed decision in an argued case. But individual justices issued seven different opinions about cases that the court did not grant. Justices issued only nine such nondecision opinions during the entire 2012-2013 term that ended in June.

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