Why the Supreme Court is taking on so many politically divisive cases

On Fridays at the Supreme Court, justices gather behind closed doors to discuss the petitions for appeal filed from across the country. Roughly 98 percent of the time, the justices deny an appeal, a result which leaves intact the decision of a lower court and consigns the unsuccessful petition to the trash heap.

For the slim fraction of cases the court does hear each term, however, the dynamics surrounding the selection of these disputes represent a huge source of the 6-3 conservative majority Supreme Court’s power as it remakes constitutional law.

Yet despite being highly consequential, the court’s critical gatekeeping

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