Sunday, December 28, 2008

A CAAFlog contest: who will write the Supremes' Denedo opinion?

Here's a new CAAFlog contest: who will write the opinion of the Court in Denedo? Predictions will be accepted until 1700 EST on Friday, 9 January 2009 or until all available possibilities are taken, whichever comes first. In the event of a tie, the first poster to name the author Justice will win. The winner will receive a CAAFlog t-shirt.

Here's some historical context. Four of the Supremes' eight cases reviewing CAAF/CMA decisions were written by justices no longer on the Court. (Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote for the Court in Solorio, Weiss, and Ryder while Justice O'Connor wrote for the Court is Davis.) Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court in Loving. Justice Scalia wrote for the Court in Edmond. Justice Thomas wrote for the Court in Scheffer. And Justice Souter wrote for the Court in Clinton v. Goldsmith.


John O'Connor said...

I'll take Chief Justice Roberts. With his opinion in the FAIR case, and his opinion in the Navy SONAR case, maybe he's taking his old bosses' (Chief Justice Rehnquist's) role in writing most of the important military decisions for the Court's conservative bloc.

Dew_Process said...

Does "Per Curiam" Count?

If not, Justice Steven's, the "Navy" man on the Court. He voted with the majority in Hamdi, Rasul and al-Odah, and wrote the opinion in Hamdan.

The Genuis said...

It's got to be Justice Scalia. After Rasul, Hamdan, and Boumediene, there's more to this opinion than a mundane jurisdictional analysis. Denedo presents the Court's conservative bloc the chance to reassert the military's unique role in our complex society and the near-complete deference that should be afforded Congress and the President in defining that role. The dicta could be sweeping (well beyond Parker & Solorio). And I bet the opinion takes a shot at the Boumediene majority's view of SCOTUS as overseer of all things military.

Maybe cert was granted just to correct a jurisdictional overreach. Or maybe four Justices saw this case as an engine for course correction. That's my bet. And Justice Scalia is my author.

Mike "No Man" Navarre said...

The Genius has a vivid imagination, we'll see this Spring. Having written Clinton v. Goldsmith, I would think Justice Souter would be the outside favorite right now. I'll play Denedo odds maker (these are totally made up, does Vegas or London handicap these things?):

Souter: 2:1
Roberts: 3:1
Stevens: 4:1
Breyer: 5:1
Ginsburg: 5:1
Alito: 5:1
Thomas: 6:1
Kennedy: 10:1

I can't see Mr. Tiebreaker getting this mundane case, so you might be able to make back the value that you lost on your house last month with some money on J. Kennedy in Vegas, where such things would be legal.

Paul said...

If the COurt holds for the position advocated by the government I think it will be Justice Thomas. Judge Ryan's disent frames the government's position and Judge Ryan clerked for Justice Thomas.

Anonymous said...

You think Chief Justice Roberts keeps track of such things as who wrote a dissent from CAAF, whether that judge clerked for a Supreme Court Justice -- and takes both these things into specific account when assigning an opinion? Come on.

Anonymous said...

Justice Breyer.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:35 how many ASG's have been clerks at SCOTUS? Your reasoning will quickly diminish the pool of writers. Clearly, in your opinion, if a judge had clerked or by extension an advocate had clerked hat Justice is not able to write the opinion. As such, the Justice should disqualify themselves as clearly they are incapable of such mundane neutrality. Come on.

Dew_Process said...

CJ Roberts assigns who writes the opinion if he is in the majority. If not Stevens, as the most senior Associate Justice assigns it, or the next senior Associate Justice if Roberts and Stevens are aligned together.

Anonymous said...

Yes but the guessing was not about the assignments of writing the opinion, that seniority structure is clear from reading any book on the Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. "No Man" wrote Clinton v. Goldsmith?

Mike "No Man" Navarre said...

Anon Dec 30 at 0758:

While I would like to take credit for Clinton v. Goldsmith, Justice Souter wrote it. I guess Bryan Garner would have a field day with the emphasis in my earlier comment.