Justice Sotomayor writes majority opinion in Liu, and my predictions for Blue June are still on track

Four cases are pending from the pre-Covid arguments, 10 cases are pending from the May siting


Today the Supreme Court decided a single case: Liu v. SEC. Last week I predicted by Justice Sotomayor would write the majority opinion. My prediction was accurate. I am now more confident in my other predictions. There are now four cases pending from the January and February sittings. Here are my predictions for the majority opinions.

  • Espinoza: Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Breyer.
  • Seila Law: Justice Breyer
  • Thuraissigiam: Justice Alito
  • June Medical: Chief Justice Roberts

I suspect these four cases will be decided by next week, and the remaining ten cases from May will spill into July. But who knows? It is going to be a long Blue June, and perhaps a Blue July.

NEXT: Justice Thomas concludes that the "freedom of speech" is a Privilege or Immunity under the 14th Amendment

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  1. I am confused as to how Liu v. SEC is a “red” or “blue” decision? It seems to be one of those refreshingly non-political ones.

    1. Well, Thomas’ dissent is very, very right wing. Essentially saying that because a cause of action didn’t exist in 1787 in the Court of Chancery, it isn’t available now despite decades of caselaw. But it is so right wing the other members of the Court didn’t buy it.

      1. Nah. He really just quibbled with the definition of “disgorgement” and “equitable relief”.

        Also, I think he really just likes the word “disgorgement”.

      2. Eh … as a practical matter, they all wanted the same thing for this case. The majority vacated and remanded. Thomas just wanted to reverse. The disagreements were really quite minor on the definitions involved.

        Based upon the majority opinion, it is clear that the majority expects the lower court to reverse, so the outcome, and probably legal reasoning ultimately used by the lower court, will likely be the same.

        And although this was not Thomas’s reason, this whole vacating and not actually solving the issue at hand should be pointed out as a waste of everyones time and money and only lawyers win. Its not a bad thing that Thomas is willing to dissent over it.

    2. And by refreshingly you mean exactly like 98% of the cases the court rules on.

    3. You’re probably right. But Blackman looks at the world in an overly partisan manner, if you read his posts they are often like fox news but with bigger words. The last thing we need is a legal scholar politicising the supreme court.

      1. “politicising the supreme court”

        Too late!

        That was already done by John Marshall.

    4. “I am confused as to how Liu v. SEC is a “red” or “blue” decision? It seems to be one of those refreshingly non-political ones.”

      I don’t think he thinks that it is. He described it as “an unremarkable criminal law case” in the linked post. But because he predicted that Sotomayor would write it, and she did, he has additional evidence in support of his predictions for the rest of the cases.

  2. “my predictions for Blue June are still on track”

    No more predictions needed — we already know what Blue June looks like.

  3. Seila Law will have numerous opinions both as to remedy and severance. but justice kavanaugh will write the majority

  4. You know, from my non-lawyer POV, it takes quite a bit of chutzpah for someone who has defrauded investors, and been ordered to disgorge the money, to go to court asking that “legitimate expenses” be deducted from the amount to paid.

    Does an embezzler ordered to make restitution get to deduct the fees associated with his secret account, wire transfers, and so on?

    (Yes, I know it’s not the same, but still.)

    1. Yeah that was my reaction. Like I know there are legal technicalities with disgorgement vs. penalty and a bunch of other legalese …

      But come on. You defraud someone out of millions of dollars, and you want to subtract “legitimate business expenses” from a fraudulent endeavor? So if I run a phone scam service, and collect money from it, I can subtract out the cost of the phones I used to commit fraud? Really?

      The business in the case isn’t some legitimate company that made a few fraudulent investment decisions. Its entire purpose was to commit fraud.

    2. I looked up an analysis of the decision on Scotus Blog.

      From what I understand, Sotomayor’s majority opinion distinguishes “pure frauds” from real investments that were deceptively marketed and failed.

      The deduction of expenses is not required at all for pure frauds.

      And even in cases that are not pure frauds the decision leaves room for lower courts to examine proposed expenses on a case by case basis and disallow expenses that the court deems to be not legitimate.

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