In hearing and determining causes, the Supreme Court may sit all together or in departments.
A department shall consist of not less than three nor more than five judges. For convenience of administration, each department may be numbered. The Chief Justice shall from time to time designate the number of departments and make assignments of the judges among the departments. The Chief Justice may sit in one or more of the departments and when so sitting may preside. The Chief Justice shall designate a judge to preside in each department.
The majority of any department shall consist of regularly elected and qualified judges of the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice shall apportion the business to the departments. Each department shall have power to hear and determine causes and all questions which may arise therein, subject to subsection (5) of this section. The presence of three judges is necessary to transact business in any department, except such as may be done in chambers by any judge. The concurrence of three judges is necessary to pronounce a judgment.
The Chief Justice or a majority of the regularly elected and qualified judges of the Supreme Court at any time may refer a cause to be considered en banc. When sitting en banc, the court may include not more than two judges pro tempore of the Supreme Court. When the court sits en banc, the concurrence of a majority of the judges participating is necessary to pronounce a judgment, but if the judges participating are equally divided in their views as to the judgment to be given, the decision being reviewed shall be affirmed.
The Chief Justice may rule on motions and issue orders in procedural matters in the Supreme Court.
A judge or judge pro tempore of the Supreme Court may participate in the decision of the matter without resubmission of the cause even though the judge is not present for oral argument on the matter.
A judge or judge pro tempore of the Supreme Court may participate in the decision of a matter without resubmission of the cause in the following circumstances:
The judge was appointed or elected to the Supreme Court after submission of the cause.
The judge is participating in the decision of a cause that was submitted to a department, and the judge is participating in lieu of a judge of the department who died, became disabled, was disqualified or was otherwise unable to participate in the decision of a cause submitted to the department.
The judge is considering a cause en banc, but the judge was not part of the department that originally considered the cause. [1959 c.44 §5 (enacted in lieu of 2.110); 1995 c.273 §24; 1999 c.659 §1]