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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court made a dent in its 46-case backlog with three decisions yesterday, including one that is a major win for government contractors and another that makes it easier for police to conduct searches without warrants.

The justices returned from a brief break for the final phase of the Court’s term—the period between mid-May and late June when it sits mostly on Mondays to release decisions and orders. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. were absent from yesterday’s brief session—not unusual during a period of travel for many justices—leaving Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. to announce decisions they authored.

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