What is a Higher Authority?

As Christians, you can not have an opinion that agrees with scripture and use it to make a decision:

Colorado’s highest court upheld a lower court’s decision yesterday throwing out the sentence of a man who was given the death penalty after jurors consulted their Bibles in reaching a verdict.

The Bible, the sharply divided court said, constituted an improper outside influence and a reliance on what the court called a “higher authority.”
Newspaper Article

I have an education, can I use this outside influence to make a decision?