The Supreme Court typically takes approximately three months to render a decision following arguments. Major rulings often come at the end of June, regardless of when in the term the cases were initially argued.
However, the case presented on Thursday differs, indicating an imminent ruling.
The justices expedited the case when they agreed to hear it, and both parties have requested a swift decision, emphasizing the urgency of determining whether former President Donald Trump qualifies to be on the ballot. Trump’s legal team stressed to the justices, “urgently require this court’s prompt resolution.”
The attorneys representing six Colorado voters who contested Trump’s eligibility urged the court to decide by Sunday, just before the state sends out primary ballots. They stated, “Having a decision on the merits by Feb. 11 would ensure that every in-state Colorado voter knows of this court’s decision before receiving their ballot and casting their primary vote.”
While this deadline may appear overly ambitious, the court may act before Super Tuesday on March 5, when Colorado and 14 other states hold their presidential primaries.
If the justices adhere to their customary procedures, they will convene in the coming days for a private conference to cast preliminary votes. The senior justice in the majority will assign the majority opinion, possibly retaining it themselves. Draft opinions, likely including concurrences and dissents, will be drafted and exchanged.
Despite the complexity of the legal issues and the high stakes involved, these proceedings are likely to occur at an accelerated pace. However, there is precedent for swift action in significant election cases, as seen in the court’s decision in Bush v. Gore, which was issued the day after arguments.