After several blockbuster terms, this year was supposed to give a bit of a breather to Supreme Court watchers – but of course all that changed in November, when RobertsCare and same-sex marriage landed back on the justices’ laps. Looking back on the term, we see a few trends: fewer unanimous rulings than the last few years; more results that experts classify as “liberal” than “conservative” (though that’s a function of the vagaries of the docket); the lockstep voting of the liberal bloc contrasted against the inscrutability of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy.
But despite the highs and lows of the last few decision days, when the dust cleared, there was one aspect of continuity that’s particularly gratifying to me: Cato continued its winning streak in cases in which we filed amicus briefs. While not as dominating as last term, we still managed to pull off an 8-7 record. I’m also proud to note that we were the only organization in the country to support the challenges to both the IRS rule on the ACA and state marriage laws.
Here’s the breakdown, in the order the opinions arrived:
Winning side (8): North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC; Yates v. United States; Elonis v. United States; City of Los Angeles v. Patel; Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; Johnson v. United States; Obergefell v. Hodges; Michigan v. EPA.
Losing side (7): Heien v. North Carolina; Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assoc.; U.S. Dept. of Transportation v. Assoc. of American Railroads; EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch; Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans; Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project; King v. Burwell