In Marks v. United States, 430 U.S. 188, 193 (1977) (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 169 n. 15 (1976)), the Supreme Court described what lower courts should do when dealing with a decision by a fragmented Court (a decision where there is no opinion representing the view of a majority of the Court):

“When a fragmented Court decides a case and no single rationale explaining the result enjoys the assent of five Justices, ‘the holding of the Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds.”

One lower court has described the “‘narrowest grounds’” as the “less far-reaching common ground.”