Anticipation and anxiety preceeded Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the nationwide tax subsidies essential to the functioning of the Affordable Care Act. The 6-3 ruling preserves health insurance for 6 million Americans, most of whom otherwise couldn’t afford to pay for it.

The outcome of the ACA case, together with the as-yet-unreleased decision on same-sex marriage, will have far reaching political and practical consequences. The high court justices break for summer vacation June 29, so the marriage decision should be released either Friday or Monday.

How does the U.S. Supreme Court make its decisions, and who decides when to issue the high court’s rulings?

Feldman,who is addition to teaching at Harvard also writes about the Court for Bloomberg View says, “at this late stage, all the opinions have in fact been written…the justices and the law clerks who work for them are sitting at the U.S Supreme Court and are dramatically bringing out the cases one by one."

Feldman, who clearked for Justice David Souter, says while the high court waits to release the decisions,  “the rest of us, the ones following the court, are waiting with baited breath, and with only three days of announcement’s left Thursday, Friday and Monday…there’s still a handful of cases to come.”

Who decides the order in which cases are released?

"Technically," Feldman explains, "it’s up to the Chief Justice to lay out when cases will be announced, but it’s a very organic process.”

Explain the inner workings?

“After a case is argued in front of the court, the justices get together quite quickly in conference…  which is private, only the justices attend. Each justice expresses his or her likely vote on the case. Either the chief justice or the most senior justice in the majority will chose who gets to write the opinion.”

To listen to the entire interview with Noah Feldman and WGBH Morning Edition host Bob Seay click on the audio file above.