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On all too many occasions in recent years, I have felt compelled to express my dissatisfaction with this Court's readiness to dispose summarily of petitions for certiorari on the merits without affording the parties prior notice or an opportunity to file briefs. See, e.g., City of Los Angeles v. Heller, 475 U. S. --, -- (1986) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting); Cuyahoga Valley R. Co. v. Transportation Union, 474 U. S. --, - - (1985) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting); Maggio v. Fulford, 462 U. S. 111, 120-121 (1983) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting). "[B]y deciding cases summarily, without benefit of oral argument and full briefing, and often with only limited access to, and review of, the record, this Court runs a great risk of rendering erroneous or ill-advised decisions that may confuse the lower courts: there is no reason to believe that this Court is immune from making mistakes, particularly under these kinds of circumstances." Harris v. Rivera, 454 U. S. 339, 349 (1981) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting).

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