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Jenkins v. Georgia

Friend Of The Court

Amicus curiae is the Latin translation for the phrase "friend of the court." An Amicus curiae is a private or public individual or organization with a strong interest or strong viewpoint on a subject before a court. An Amicus curiae is not a party to the action or lawsuit, but acts as an interested third party calling the court's attention to some matter of the law which is in doubt or which might otherwise escape the court's attention.

An amicus curiae files a brief with consent of the other litigants (participants in the lawsuit), with permission of the court, or at the request of the court. Briefs are commonly filed in cases of broad and wide ranging matters of interest and controversy.

The Supreme Court frequently requests the U.S. Solicitor General, appointed by the president and whose office represents the position of the federal government, to submit briefs. Special interest groups also file thousands of briefs yearly to urge a particular result on behalf of third parties who may be affected by the court's decision. Similarly, state's attorney generals or legislators also regularly file briefs expressing a state's views on an issue.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Jenkins v. Georgia - Significance, "i Know It When I See It", An "obscenely Boring" Film, Defining Obscenity