Decision days

There are 3 more decision days scheduled in this term (on Mondays until the end of June) and about 18 decisions still to come (depending on whether consolidated and similar cases get one or multiple decisions, and whether some cases get resolved without a decision).  Amy Howe has a handy list of all the unresolved cases, organized by argument date and with some information about most likely author when available. It’s possible that the Court will extend its usual term and issue decisions into July, but that seems unlikely.

Decision days used to be attended by court-watchers and people who wanted to be there for an historic moment when a decision came down in a major case. There were smaller lines to get into the courtroom compared to argument days.  The Justices would take the bench and announce the decisions, and sometimes a dissenter would make a statement as well. It could be a really meaningful experience.  But because of COVID-19 concerns, the Court is not taking the bench this month.  Instead, orders are released on its website and to the press — one-by-one, spaced out by 10 minutes. offers a live-blog starting at 10:00, quickly reacting to each decision when it is released.

There is something of a history of decisions in cases involving sexual orientation being released on June 26, at least when it involves an expansion of rights.  That was true for Lawrence v. Texas back in 2003 (striking down sodomy laws) and the marriage equality cases in both 2013 and 2015 (even though the 26th in those years did not fall on a Monday, the usual day for decision announcements), while the fractured Masterpiece Cakeshop decision was released June 4, 2018.  For this term, the cases involving whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity were argued back in October and are the only cases from October that have not yet been resolved. And the next-oldest cases involve the rescission of DACA.  Everything else argued in 2019 has been resolved.  So it may well be that the Court won’t issue decisions in these controversial cases until the last-scheduled decision day on June 29 or a yet to be announced decision day on Friday the 26th.

There are several important and interesting cases still to be resolved beyond the Title VII cases above, but I’ll highlight just three more and recommend Howe’s page (linked above) for details on the others.  June Medical Services (the Louisiana abortion law) was argued in March.  Little Sisters of the Poor (the Affordable Care Act’s “birth-control mandate”) was argued in the first week of May.  And the cases involving subpoena’s for Trump’s tax and financial records weren’t argued until May 12, the second to last day of oral arguments this term.