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As we reported here last year, one of the little-known paths a lawyer can take to achieving the goal of arguing before the Supreme Court comes when a party decides it no longer wants to argue in favor of or against a lower court decision that is on appeal. When that happens, half the case falls away, so to speak. The Supreme Court, if it still wants an airing of the issue at stake, then appoints a lawyer — almost always a former law clerk to a justice — to advance the now-orphaned argument.

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