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California’s “three strikes” law appeared to survive intense but mainly favorable scrutiny from the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Court’s leading conservatives — and some of its moderates, too — seemed to favor the view that states should be allowed to determine sentencing schemes on their own without being second-guessed by the federal courts, even if those laws result in lengthy prison terms for relatively minor crimes.

“Why can’t California decide ‘enough is enough’? ” asked Chief Justice William Rehnquist at one point.

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