The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Handing Down The Final 19 (or 17) Opinions

With a Presidential Debate on June 27!


The Supreme Court has nineteen remaining cases to be decided. There will likely be fewer majority opinions as Loper Bright/Relentless and the NetChoice cases will probably be consolidated. To make the math easier, there will probably be seventeen actual opinions handed down.

The Court has scheduled an opinion day for tomorrow, Friday, June 21. Next week there will probably be days added for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. One wrinkle is that there will be a presidential debate the evening of Thursday, June 27.

The last time the Supreme Court intersected with a presidential debate was on February 13, 2016. That afternoon, Justice Scalia's death was announced, and that evening, Donald Trump told us he would fill the seat with Judges Pryor or Sykes. (For those keeping track at home, neither judge was placed on the Supreme Court.)

Does the Court really want the debate to turn into a free-for-all on presidential immunity. Methinks not. In the past, I've speculated that the Court (really the Chief) tries to stagger out opinions to minimize the press scrutiny–combining some conservative and some liberal opinions on a given day. If so, then the biggest cases all may come down on Friday, June 28–after the debate. And, if my math is right, Chief Justice Roberts may write each of them RahimiLoper-Bright/Relentless, and Trump. And they would be announced back-to-back. I think it is very unlikely that Roberts would allow any of those cases to mar the debate.

Here we go. Seventeen opinions spread over four hand-down days. The next week will be busy.