SCOTUS: 2018 Term Awards

FILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration’s travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The following is a list of awards presented to the the Supreme Court, courtesy of me.  During presentation of the awards at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, all Justices were in attendance although Thomas had to keep nudging Ginsburg, who had fallen asleep, when her name was called.  She kept her acceptance speeches short: “Never Trump.”  Thomas, on the other hand, simply accepted the award, nodded to the crowd and walked off stage.  Roberts interjected the term “integrity of the Court” into every acceptance speech while the music cut off Breyer’s acceptance speeches every time he reached the stage.

Award to the Most Litigated Circuit at SCOTUS:  The award again goes to the San Francisco based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with a whopping 14 cases heard and decided emanating from that esteemed bunch of liberal moonbats.

Worst Circuit Winning Record at SCOTUS:  Here, a minimum of four cases is the base criteria and the winner is… the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals managing to have only 2 of 14 decisions affirmed by SCOTUS for a winning percentage of a lowly 14.29% affirmation rate.  Way to go Ninth Circuit!  They keep their dubious losing streak alive!!

Justice Disagreeing the Most with the Worst Performing Circuit:  The award goes to Chief Justice John Roberts for agreeing with decisions out of the Ninth Circuit in only 1 of 14 cases.

Justice Agreeing the Most with the Worst Performing Circuit: No surprise here as RBG and the wise Latina from the Bronx, Sonia Sotomayor, share the award agreeing with the Ninth Circuit 6 out of 14 times.

Most Prolific Writing Justice (overall opinions): The award goes to the man of very few, if any, words during oral argument, Justice Clarence Thomas who voiced his opinion a whopping 28 times without asking a single question during oral arguments.

Most Dissenting Opinions Authored: It’s a tie, folks!  Both Neal Gorsuch and Stephen Breyer win this award.

Most Wordy Dissenting Justice:  Here, Breyer takes the award when all of his dissenting opinions were 5 pages or more in length.

Author of the Obvious Opinion: This is awarded to the Justice with the most opinions authored where the Court voted 9-0 and the winner is… Justice Stephen Breyer with 5 opinions.

Give Me the Tough Decisions Award: Goes to the Justice with the most majority 5-4 opinions and the winner is a tie between Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas with four apiece.

The Speedwriter Award: Goes the Justice with the shortest average length of time between argument and release of a majority opinion authored.  And award goes to RBG who took an average of 72 days.  Then again, given her apparent knowledge of the Constitution, one is surprised the time is not even shorter than that.

Give Me Some Time to Write It Award: The opposite of the above, and the winner is Justice Alito who took an average of 132 days to release a majority opinion.

The “It’s Lonely Here” Award: Given to the Justice(s) with the lone dissent in an 8-1 case.  Again, we have a tie between Breyer and Thomas with two apiece.

In the Majority Most Often Award: This award goes to a newcomer.  That’s right, folks… Brett Kavanaugh was in the majority a whopping 91% of the time.

Conservative Jumping to the Dark Side Award: Given to a conservative Justice who sided with the liberal side the most- Justice Gorsuch.  But, don’t fret folks…it only happened twice.

Liberal Jumping Into the Light: Given to a liberal Justice who sided with the conservative side the most-  another tie between RBG and Breyer.  But… it happened only one time in both cases, so don’t get excited.

The I Am the Law Award:  Awarded to the Justice who was the deciding vote the most times in 5-4 decisions.  The winner is, again, Gorsuch.

The Conservative Mini-Me Award:  given to the two conservative Justices with the greatest degree of agreement.  This year’s award goes to the Roberts/Kvanaugh team who managed a 94% agreement rate.  I know…we can quibble about whether they are conservative or not, but it is what it is and I don’t make the rules.

The Liberal Mini-Me Award: the award goes again to the team of RBG/Sotomayor for a 93% agreement rate.

When It Comes to Decisions, They Don’t Like Each Other Award:  given to the two Justices with the lowest rate of agreement.  This year’s award goes to, predictably Clarence Thomas and RBG.

The I Really Don’t Like You When It Comes to Divided Cases Award:  Once again, Clarence Thomas takes the prize for agreeing with RBG and Sotomayor only 18% of the time in divided cases.

I Super Don’t Like You in 5-4 Cases Award: Justice Alito is a surprise winner here agreeing with both Kagan and Sotomayor a mere 5% in cases decided 5-4.

Most Inquisitive Justice During Oral Argument:  Apparently, the wise Latina likes the sound of her voice as she asked an average 23.9 questions per argument.  Sadly, the pompous-sounding Breyer came in a distant second.

The “Oooo.. Me First” Award: Given to the Justice with the most opening questions during oral argument.  And the award goes to RBG.  Note: she asks the first question to prove she is still alive before drifting back off to sleep.

In case you’re keeping track, RBG took 7 awards and Thomas, Sotomayor and Breyer five apiece.  The big loser this term was Elena Kagan with one lonely award.  All other Justices had at least two.

Overall, was this a controversial term?  There was no big case like Obamacare or gay marriage on the docket.  One can make a case that conservatives made some gains before the Supreme Court where the subject of civil asset forfeiture saw a smackdown by the Court, property rights were affirmed in the Knick decision and the Court told liberals to take a hike over the issue of a WWI memorial cross.  And one important overlooked win for conservatives were the political gerrymandering cases where the Court said political questions were better left to the political branches of government to answer and solve.  True, they backed away from the citizenship question on the Census finding it legal, but the practical implications say something else and they failed to reign in the administrative state.  However, in that latter instance, let’s give credit where credit is due: Justice Elena Kagan actually wrote a cogent opinion (for a liberal) and provided step-by-step guidance to lower courts.  In a sense, you could call it a half a victory for conservatives.

Note: Special shout out to SCOTUSblog’s 2018 Term final statistics package which was the source of this material.  Great place for relatively balanced Supreme Court news.