FIRST ONE @ ONE FIRST

Stevens writing Bilski?

Posted in Clairvoyance by Mike Sacks on June 15, 2010

Because I know next to nothing on the merits of patent law, my predictions for the now overlong-awaited Bilski decision will extend no further than this: Justice Stevens will be its author.

Two factors lead me to this conclusion.  First, Stevens and Thomas are the only two justices yet to author a majority opinion from the November sitting.  Given that Stevens–and not Thomas–has the history of landmark tech-oriented decisions.  In fact, he has contributed one a decade:

If you consider 2010 to be part of the first, rather than the second, decade of the 21st century, then it looks like Stevens is due one more swing for the ages.

One can assume Stevens will write for the liberals if Bilski has any left/right component to blame for causing the Court’s significant delay in releasing the opinion.  I refuse, however, to make this assumption myself ever since I rightly predicted Justice Kennedy to author Salazar v. Buono, but ate my words about what side he’d come down on.  Of course, Stevens may be more predictable than Kennedy, but I’m too spooked to hazard even the safest guess for this case in a very unfamiliar field.  I’ll leave that to these guys.

If Stevens is not the author, I have a backup prediction: the long wait for this case means that he has crafted a lead dissent out of a majority opinion he lost in the drafting process.

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2 Responses

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  1. JB said, on June 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    “First, Stevens and Thomas are the only two justices yet to author a majority opinion from the November sitting”. Does that mean from a hearing just in November? Thomas has authored opinions from October and December hearings.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinions.aspx

    Although, I think Stevens is a good guess.

  2. [...] on major federalism, Second Amendment, and church-and-state cases, as well as a very long-awaited patent case that may fundamentally affect that field’s [...]


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