Via Dave Hardy, Josh Blackman thinks the Chief Justice may still be keeping the case for himself. More on that here too. I’m not sure that makes me any less nervous, but at least we have some evidence from oral arguments that the Chief Justice is probably a solid vote.
6 thoughts on “Maybe Roberts?”
IF this is to be a history making decision Chief Justice Roberts might want to write it himself with an eye on history.
But Roberts wrote Doe v. Reed, handed down today (1st Am. ballot initiative petition anonymity case), which I think blows Blackman’s predicted scenario. It’s still always *possible* that Roberts took McDonald, but nothing in the pattern of opinion assignments so far supports that.
Rather, it looks like Stevens will write Bilski (huge patent case that’s been pending forever).
Stevens or Ginsburg will write Christian Legal Society, which probably means a loss for CLS.
Kennedy will write Free Enterprise Fund (important separation of powers case about Sarbanes-Oxley accounting regulation board). Kennedy’s likely authorship makes the outcome hard to predict.
And Alito will write McDonald.
FWIW I’m pretty confident in the above, at this late stage of the game. (We have more info than Blackman did.)
Ah, except I forgot one thing: Roberts hasn’t written anything from the December sitting. Blackman thinks he won’t take any opinions from that sitting and will instead write McDonald from the February sitting. Maybe. But again, there’s no particular reason to think that is what happened — other than the importance of McDonald.
It does, however, make it more likely that Roberts, not Kennedy, will write Free Enterprise Fund (thus Roberts gets at least one opinion from that sitting). And that may be a better augur of a federalism/limited government victory in Free Enterprise Fund. Maybe.
So sub in Roberts for Kennedy on Free Enterprise Fund and there are my predictions. Alito will write McDonald.
IOW, Free Enterprise Fund the only case left from the December sitting, the one from which Roberts hasn’t written anything yet. So it’s likely that Roberts took Free Enterprise Fund, in which case there’s no “omission” left to be filled by Blackman’s guess that Roberts helped himself to McDonald from the Feb. sitting. Thus I don’t think that guess is correct.
OK, enough of this geekery.
Blackman’s crystal ball must be a little cloudy today. Of the seven decisions issued today, he only called one correctly in terms of who would write the opinion. He correctly said Justice Thomas would write the Granite opinion and he did.
I think the odds are still on “Machine Gun Sammy” Alito writing the McDonald opinion.
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