Legal expert thinks Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson has written her last majority opinion for the term

 June 21, 2023

The Supreme Court made headlines last week when it unanimously ruled in Lora v. United States that that sentences for some federal firearm offenses can run concurrently.

While the case's opinion was authored by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, some observers believe she won't be writing any more for a while.

Jackson has taken lead on six cases

They include Case Western University Law School professor Jonathan Adler, who explained to the Washington Examiner that Jackson has already authored six opinions so far this term.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court seeks to "equalize the case assignments" among its members and Jackson took the lead on six of them.

Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Elena Kagan have written five majority opinions each over the same time period.

Given that there are only 18 cases left to be decided in the term, Adler said it would be "totally normal" for this to be Jackson's final majority opinion.

Four of Jackson's six opinions were for unanimous cases

Adler also stressed that four of Jackson's six opinions were for unanimous decisions, meaning that they "don't tell us a lot about her jurisprudence." However, Jackson has written some dissents which may be more illuminating.

One example came last earlier this month when she objected to a ruling which found that a company is permitted to sue a union for property damage caused during a labor dispute.

"Workers are not indentured servants, bound to continue laboring until any planned work stoppage would be as painless as possible for their masters," Jackson protested.

The Biden appointee also dissented last year when the Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal from an Ohio death row inmate named Davel Chinn who claimed that prosecutors suppressed evidence in his case.

Jackson speaks up more than any other justice

Meanwhile, the Examiner noted that Jackson has also garnered attention for the number of times that she has spoken out since being confirmed.

A study conducted by the website Empirical SCOTUS found Jackson engaged in discourse with counsel more than any other justice in 2022.

"In her first term on the Court, Justice Jackson set the new ceiling not only for justice word counts at oral argument for a justice in their first term, but just about for a justice in any term," it observed.

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