The Volokh Conspiracy

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Recapping Wednesday's Cases, and Predicting the Remaining 8 Cases

Wednesday brought four constitutional law decisions. Several biggies remain.


On Wednesday, the Court decided four cases. Each decision resolved an important question of constitutional law. First Collins v. Yellen held that the structure of the Federal House Finance Agency was unconstitutional. Second, Mahanoy Area School District held that a school could not punish a student for sending "vulgar" snapchat messages. Third, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid held that California violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment by requiring farmers to admit union organizers. Fourth, Lange v. California held that the hot pursuit doctrine does not categorically apply to a fleeing misdemeanant. I have now edited all four cases for the Barnett/Blackman supplement. (Randy and I have added a chapter on constitutional criminal procedure to the Fourth Edition of our casebook.) Please email me if you'd like a copy.

I plan to write more about each case. Here, I'd like to revisit my dismal predictions. I correctly predicted that Justice Alito would write Collins. I whiffed on the other three. I had hoped Justice Kagan would write Mahanoy. She would have brought verve to the topic of student free speech. Alas, generations of principals, teachers, and students will have to suffer from Justice Breyer's staid prose.  I thought Justice Alito or Kavanaugh would write Cedar Point. Wrong. The Chief kept it for himself. In light of his votes in Horne I and II, Roberts is especially strong on the Takings Clause. If there is a vehicle somewhere to overrule Kelo, now is the shot. Finally, I didn't have strong thoughts on Lange. I predicted Sotomayor, but instead we got a Kagan opinion.

We are left with eight cases. The Court will hand down some tomorrow, and probably the rest on Monday, possibly Tuesday.

January Sitting

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.

February Sitting

Only one case is outstanding: Brnovich. Because Roberts ended up writing Cedar Point, I am going with Alito or Kavanaugh for Brnovich.

March Sitting

Only one case is outstanding: TransUnion. I'll stay with Kagan for this Rule 23 case.

April Sitting

Justice Breyer wrote the majority in Mahanoy. There are five outstanding cases from that sitting: PennEast (Barrett), Minerva (Kagan), AFP/Thomas More v. Bonta (Roberts), Chehalis (Gorsuch), and HollyFrontier (Barrett).

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7 responses to “Recapping Wednesday's Cases, and Predicting the Remaining 8 Cases

  1. Color me surprised that the usual Josh-haters haven’t chimed in to denigrate his curiosity. These things don’t interest me much at all, but they are an interesting meta look into the court’s political dealings, and I thank Josh for keeping on keeping on.

    1. I mean, what he wrote what will largely be resolved tomorrow. Is it really necessary to game this out when one can just wait a day?

      1. Is it really necessary to whine about a story which you didn’t have to read? Or did you just come to the comments to whine without actually RTFA?

        That’s what I don’t get about all you Josh-haters. He must be ticking you off something fierce for all the insults and whines he gets, and I can’t figure out why you keep coming back to whine again and again.

        Josh is having fun, he makes it interesting, and I’d rather read an interesting article about a boring subject than a boring article about an interesting subject.

        1. I’m not complaining, but you were wondering why people complain about Josh posts, and now you are attacking me for answering that question, so .. I mean the first person who responded, and the only one who responded, was you. I am just answering that question.

          And yes, I do like their posts because it makes it more fun, but it is often unnecessary and or overtly political, which some people find distasteful. People have a right to complain if the blog becomes less legal and more political. For example, “Blue June” was stupid.

  2. AFP/Thomas More v. Bonta (Roberts),

    I predict Alito or Kavanaugh, instead

  3. TransUnion. I’ll stay with Kagan for this Rule 23 case.
    HollyFrontier (Barrett)

    0 for 2, you’re on a roll. 🙂

    On the “plus?” side, they did both write the dissents. 🙂

  4. Oops, I missed that Chehalis was decided.
    0/3, you picked all three dissent writers.

    I’m rather disappointed in Gorsuch for being on the wrong side of this one, he’s usually good on Indian cases