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Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan announced the first opinion of her tenure this morning, which turned out to decide the first case she heard argued in the current term last October 4.

As often happens for new justices, Kagan was assigned to write her first decision in a less-than-blockbuster case, Ransom v. FIA Card Services, a bankruptcy dispute over which routine expenses debtors can deduct from their monthly income and thereby keep out of the hands of creditors. Kagan managed to make it interesting nonetheless, with the non-technical, very accessible summary she read from the bench for spectators.

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