From Blue Monday to Red Thursday.

From South Bay to Diocese.


Historically, the Supreme Court has moved at a glacial pace. Change happened gradually, if at all. Even when new members of the Court were appointed, doctrine took time to evolve. And often, the middle of the Court moved slightly. Even the most famous changes were really works in progress. For example, the so-called "switch in time that saved nine" was not an immediate response to FDR's Court Packing plan. Rather, President Hoover had selected several progressive-friendly judges years earlier.

We rarely see a sudden, prompt reversal in doctrine. The five months between South Bay and Diocese represent such an avulsive shift. In May 2020, Chief Justice Roberts was at the apogee of his power. As the decisive vote, he single-handedly established a super precedent that a hundred judges treated as gospel. On Blue Monday, Roberts pushed away any Second Amendment cases from the docket. And in Blue June, Roberts cast the deciding vote in critical cases that ran against the Trump Administration.

But in September, Justice Ginsburg passed away. And barely a month later, Justice Barrett was confirmed. Almost overnight, the Court's center of power shifted. Roberts could no longer command a convenient majority on demand. He would now have to work for five votes. In the past, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan would have gladly joined Robert's mushy middle if there were five votes, but now they ignored him. He no longer serves a purpose. Now the Chief stands all alone.

The new Roberts Court has arrived. Red Thursday bid farewell to Blue Monday.

Update: President Trump chimed in.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: November 26, 1829

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  1. People who have not rejected Pres. Trump’s delusional, reprehensible effort to deny his loss in an election he lost soundly:

    Donald Trump
    Vladimir Putin
    Sidney Powell
    Josh Blackman
    Eugene Volokh
    Most of the other Volokh Conspirators

    Keep it classy, clingers

    1. Not even correct trolling, I’m pretty sure the later two groups either have criticized the decision or have longstanding things where they don’t comment on political matters.

      I’ve never seen Prof. Volokh make a political statement on this blog, so idk why its fair to attack him for continuing that. Shall we attack Santa Claus for not commenting on the election too?

      1. Silence is violence, haven’t you heard? Oh wait, that just shows that silence truly is violence.

    2. Wow, are you going to be unhappy when Trump is reinaugurated.

  2. I’m not sure what the obsession with “red” or “blue” is …

  3. “Gretchen, stop trying to make ‘Blue Monday’ happen, its not gonna happen!”

  4. “Red” is the color of Satan and thanks to the Supreme Court American Satanists can worship the Horned One as they see fit! The one with the spiked tail and forked tongue will soon return to his rightful place as supreme ruler of heaven and earth as prophesied by the oracle!! Natas saw sih eman!!

  5. Josh, you’ve now said the same thing in multiple blog posts. You’re repeating yourself. Have some eggnog, spend some time with the fam, and maybe then put all your thoughts on the decision into a single, lengthier post, rather than treating VC like a Twitter feed. But maybe it’s just me, and everyone else likes your style of blogging. I’ll stand corrected if that’s the case. Thanks.

    1. Hell I agree with Mr. Blackman most of the time and I second this comment.

  6. Professor Blackman,

    Very much appreciate the informative and timely posts on Diocese case and the Court transformation. Thank you.

    When we we hear the expert opinions of Professor Bernstein’s “objective legal experts” – will they affirm the majority opinion or the dissent as the “expert” opinion of the “objective legal experts”?
    Trust Cuomo will not be included with “objective legal experts”.

  7. Really nice to see the COVID numbers explode in exactly the right places, as you would expect. Live free or die. LOL

    1. What would you call “exactly the right places”?

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