Justice Martin Jenkins joined the Supreme Court eight months ago, but he hasn’t filed an opinion for the court yet.  That’s not unusual.

Justice Goodwin Liu took almost eight months to file his first opinion for the court, Justice Leondra Kruger took over seven months, and it took Justice Joshua Groban almost 13 months.  On the other hand, Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar filed his first opinion for the court less than five months after he was sworn in and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye filed her first opinion in less than six months.

The Chief Justice’s and Justice Cuéllar’s relatively faster times might be attributable to the fact they were both nominated and confirmed to fill vacancies created by expiring terms instead of being appointed to a retired justice’s term, and they, unlike appointees, were thus confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments months before being sworn in (see here for a fuller explanation).  But, because a nomination is “effective when confirmed” by the Commission, they might have had a head start, using the gap between confirmation and oath of office to begin drafting their first opinions.

The court was unanimous in the first opinions of Cantil-Sakauye, Liu, Cuéllar, Kruger, and Groban.  That’s not always the case for first opinions, but we’re guessing it will be for Justice Jenkins.