As of October / November last week, SCOTUS had six comments to publish. I correctly predicted that Justice Kagan would be the author of the only opinion published last week. A lawsuit was filed in November.
Today, we again issued a single opinion, this time from October. There were two potential candidates for the remaining two votes in October, Gorsuch and Kavanagh. I tossed a coin that predicted that it would write Gorsuch’s opinion, it was Kavanagh. It leaves an October opinion, which means it will be handed over to Justice Gorsuch if, as of today, he is not in the minority.
My Crystal Ball predicts the following assignments for the remaining four views from November and October:
Justice Kavanagh – NYSRPA v. Bruin
Justice Barrett – US v. Valo-Madero
Justice Thomas – Austin v. Reagan National Advertisement.
Justice Gorsuch – Brown v. Davenport (October)
I think there are several reasons why Justice Kavanagh is writing an opinion on NYSRPA v. Bruin. Today’s opinion is one of the reasons. This is a 12 page opinion that Justice Kavanagh took 124 days to write. Similarly, the dissent was only 12 pages long. This word is the first opinion of Justice Kavanagh. As the Court of Appeals, he had a reputation for writing 100 copies before publishing an opinion. While other judges have issued an opinion during this period, most judges issued two opinions before Justice Kavanagh issued one.
Although I would like to ask Justice Thomas to write an opinion on NYSRPA v. Bruin, if the writing of the opinion is entrusted to him, I do not really see him taking so long to write it. Also, the opinion in the Austin case depends on the interpretation of an 8-1 opinion written by Justice Thomas. This makes Justice Thomas the clear choice for the Austin case. If Thomas is given the charge of Austin, then Justice Sotomayor, Kavanagh and Barrett are left as the remaining three judges to be considered as potential candidates for the NYSRPA v. Bruin.
It appears that Justice Sotomayor was given responsibility for the Texas case because of his sole dissent in the dismissal. Justice Barrett wants firearms to be removed from the “sensitive area” in which Times Square NYC appears to him to be a sensitive area. The New York State argued that determining “sensitive” space is an ineffective structure. Justice Kavanagh rightly stated in the oral argument that the NYSRPA is not about sensitive space. Justice Kavanagh said the alternatives in the NYSRPA are open carry, and secret carry with permit. Given that the “presented question” was rewritten as a secret carrying question, Justice Thomas has almost certainly taken the position that the NYSRPA is only about secret carrying. Justice Sotomayor also took that position in oral argument. This makes it the most likely choice for Justice Kavanagh to be appointed to write an opinion on the NYSRPA.
But we will soon know who has been appointed to the NYSRPA.
Young v. Hawaii, Handgun Open Carry Short Petition, and Magazine Ban Short Short Petition have already survived one or more conferences. That means they are scheduled for a conference on Realist Day. The last realist conference for this term is June 16th. The last session date is June 27, which is also the last order list day for this period.
Feedback days can be any weekdays, including conference days All we can do is keep an eye on the SCOTUS calendar and count the remaining days in this period. According to the countdown timer on my website, there are 83 days left before the judges leave for summer vacation.
All of this means that unless Young v. Hawaii and Magazine Prohibition Certificate Petitions are only going to be GVR’d (granted / vacated / remand) or the cases will be denied without writing anything to the judges, NYSRPA v. Bruen will be published soon after.
Meanwhile, my California Open Carry case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will remain on hold until the Young v. Hawaii Short Petition is settled.
California Open Carry website