Writ of certiorari

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A writ of certiorari is an order issued by the U.S. Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal. Justices vote in secret to determine which cases are granted certiorari; 4 justices must vote in the affirmative for this to be done.

The Supreme Court "grants cert" in only about 1% of the cases appealed to it, and often denies cert in socially controversial cases (such as abortion or conversion therapy).