The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
On June 14, I offered predictions for the then-18 outstanding cases. Since then, the Court decided six cases. Only two of my predictions were correct: Roberts wrote Arthrex and Barrett wrote Goldman. I flubbed the rest. Roberts wrote Fulton, Thomas wrote Nestle, Breyer wrote California, and Gorsuch wrote NCAA. So far I am batting .333. A decent average in baseball. Dreadful for SCOTUS. In fairness, the votes in California and Fulton may have flipped after conference. But we deal with final decisions.
Do I stop here? Of course not. I'll double-down with more rank speculation. There are 12 outstanding cases that will be decided on Wednesday or Friday. Six opinions per day? That will be hectic!
The only outstanding case from December is Collins. Ten cases were argued that sitting. Trump v. NY was dismissed. And Henry Schein was DIG'd. Justice Alito and Gorsuch have not written yet. If Alito originally had the Fulton assignment, perhaps the Chief gave Collins to Gorsuch. Two huge assignments back to back would have been tricky, on top of the ACA dissent. Then again, Gorsuch has idiosyncratic views on severability. The better bet is that the Chief assigned Collins to Alito. Indeed, Alito may have gone along with the Arthrex plurality to form the majority in Collins. I agree with co-blogger Jon Adler that Alito's vote in Arthrex is in tension with his vote in California. If Alito does have Collins, that assignment would cast doubt that he also had Fulton. Two huge cases in one sitting are rare, but not unheard of.
Only one case is outstanding: Guzman-Chavez. I still don't have a strong prediction here. I'll give this statutory interpretation case to Barrett. She was very active during oral arguments on statutory nuance.
I correctly predicted that Roberts wrote Arthrex--though he could not cobble together a solid majority. I'll stick with Alito for Brnovich. But Justice Kavanaugh did not end up writing NCAA, as I expected. So he could have Brnovich. I'll stay with Sotomayor for Lange.
I correctly predicted that Barrett would have Goldman Sachs. Though I incorrectly described it as an ERISA case. This junior justice hazing ritual involved securities fraud. I predicted Kavanaugh would write NCAA v. Alston. I was close. The sports fan wrote a blistering concurrence. Gorsuch had a the majority. I had predicted that Gorsuch would write Cedar Point. I'll shift that prediction to Alito or Kavanaugh. And I'll stick with Kagan for Trans-Union.
No new cases have come out from the April sitting. I'll stay with my predictions. PennEast (Barrett), Minerva (Breyer), Mahanoy (Kagan), AFP/Thomas More v. Bonta (Roberts), Chehalis (Gorsuch), and HollyFrontier (Barrett).