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More than once in recent months, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has said that one of his goals is to achieve greater unanimity on the Supreme Court — even if it means deciding cases narrowly.

“There are many cases we get that can be decided on a number of different grounds,” Roberts told the conference of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in July. “If there’s one where it’s 8-1 or 9-to-nothing, and another where it’s 5-4, I think it’s better to decide on the former ground and let it go at that.”

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