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This first Monday in October raises several cases that might turn the Supreme Court 180 degrees from the last term. If 2014-15 was an unmitigated disaster for conservatives, with Court decisions overturning gay marriage bans in the states and upholding Obamacare’s tax subsidies, 2015-16 presents cases that may bring conservative victories.
These are the cases to watch — but maybe we can start taking bets here on how the cases will come out, which means predicting the all-important desires of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will no doubt be the decisive fifth vote in all of them.
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin: Can state universities use an applicant’s race in making admissions decisions? The Court narrowly split in upholding Michigan’s affirmative action plan a decade ago, and Justice O’Connor, who joined the liberals to uphold the use of race, has been replaced by Justice Alito.