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Volokh Conspiracy

June 15, 2020: Blue Monday at the Supreme Court

Conservatives went 0-4.


Monday, June 15, 2020 was a significant day at the Supreme Court. In the span of 30 minutes, the Justices handed conservatives four defeats.

  1. The Court denied review in ten Second Amendment cases; Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh dissented.
  2. The Court denied review in President Trump's challenge of California's sanctuary state laws; Justices Thomas and Alito dissented.
  3. The Court GVR'd a Texas death penalty case; Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch dissented.
  4. The Court decided Bostock; Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh dissented.

I refer to yesterday as Blue Monday, both for the color of the mood among conservatives, and for the political shading of the decisions. Blue Monday will resonate for some time to come.

The only other comparable day on the Supreme Court's calendar is June 26, which I have long referred to as St. Anthony's Day. On this day, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinions in Lawrence (2003), Windsor (2013), and Obergefell (2015). Indeed, the Court held a special sitting on Friday June 26, 2015 to keep the tradition alive. That timing also allowed the decision to be issued in advance of pride parades that weekend. This year June 26 falls on a Friday. I doubt the Supreme Court will issue all of its decisions by then.