A " judicial opinion " or "opinion of the court" is an opinion of a judge or group of judges that accompanies and explains an order or ruling in a controversy before the court. A judicial option generally lays out the facts that the court recognized as being established, the legal principles the court is bound by, and the application of the relevant principles to the recognized facts. The goal is to demonstrate the rationale the court used in reaching its decision.  Judges in the United States are usually required to provide a well-reasoned basis for their decisions and the contents of their judicial opinions may contain the grounds for appealing and reversing of their decision by a higher court. Judicial opinions are discussed further in the articles on common law and precedent .