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US Supreme Court divisions expected to be exposed as final rulings loom /legal/us-supreme-court-divisions-expected-be-exposed-final-rulings-loom-2024-06-24/

The U.S. Supreme Court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, managed to bridge its ideological divide in major rulings this month involving constitutional gun rights and access to the abortion pill, but that could change as the court heads into what may be the final week of its term.

Decisions are due in major cases involving Donald Trump's claim of presidential immunity from prosecution, an Idaho abortion ban that makes no exception to protect the health of pregnant women, and a doctrine called "Chevron deference" that long has bolstered federal regulations against legal challenges. Those cases are expected to once again expose the fault lines between the court's conservative and liberal justices.

"So far, the term has been less ideologically defined than the last two," said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Berkeley Law School. "But I really think it is (this) week's decisions that will determine how we think of the term."

Two years ago, the court's conservatives powered rulings rolling back abortion rights and widening gun rights. Last year, they rejected race-conscious admissions policies long used by colleges and universities to increase enrollment of Black and Hispanic students.

Some justices have come under fresh scrutiny for their actions away from the bench, including reports that flags associated with Trump's attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss flew outside Justice Samuel Alito's homes in Virginia and New Jersey, and fresh revelations about Justice Clarence Thomas accepting undisclosed travel from a wealthy benefactor.


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