This variable specifies the number of justices voting in the majority; minVotes indicates the number of justices voting in dissent.
In non-legacy cases, a quorum requires the participation of six justices for a decision on the merits.
The number that appears in this variable pertains to the number of justices who agree with the disposition made by the majority (see caseDisposition) and not to the justices' vote on any particular issue in the case. Thus, for example, in Bates v. Arizona State Bar, 433 U.S. 350 (1977), the vote in the case was 5 to 4, even though all participants agreed that the disciplinary rule prohibiting attorney advertising did not violate the Sherman Act. Unlike the majority, the dissenters disagreed that the rule violated the First Amendment.
See also Minority Votes (minVotes) and Vote Not Clearly Specified (voteUnclear).
Voting & Opinion Variables