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sonia sotomayor Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ National Law Journal.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by her two colleagues on the left, ripped open the fault lines on the court over the role of precedent in a searing dissent in a juvenile justice decision Thursday.

The majority “conflates,” “exaggerates,” “twists” and essentially “guts” two foundational opinions on the issue of sentences of life in prison without parole for juvenile killers, Sotomayor wrote in the case Jones v. Mississippi. The 6-3 court, led by Brett Kavanaugh, made it easier for judges to sentence juvenile offenders to life without parole.

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Marcia Coyle

Marcia Coyle, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @MarciaCoyle

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