The Law: Silent Decisions

When the Supreme Court begins its new term, one of its traditional opening tasks is to dispose of cases on which it does not want to hear full arguments. One incredible day earlier this month, it took care of 708 such cases, an all-time record, and halfway through the month it had dealt with 824. Such is its position, however, that even when the court rules summarily or refuses to hear a case, observers often try to read answers of a sort into these silent decisions. Among the most interesting of such rulings last week:

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