Justice Kagan: High court must avoid partisan perceptions

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FILE – In this June 20, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court is seen under stormy skies in Washington. Both sides of the abortion debate are waiting to see if the Supreme Court adds new disputes over state abortion regulations to its election-year docket. The court is expected to announce Friday new cases it will consider in the term that begins next week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Associate Justice Elena Kagan says it behooves the U.S. Supreme Court to realize there’s a danger of the public seeing it as just a political institution – and to ensure that the court isn’t seen that way.

Speaking at the University of Minnesota on Monday, Kagan said that view is an oversimplification of what court does. She says the justices decide most of their cases unanimously or by lopsided margins.

Kagan didn’t mention a Marquette University Law School poll released earlier Monday in which 64% of respondents said they believe the law, rather than politics, mostly motivates the high court’s decisions.

Kagan, who’s a member of the court’s liberal wing, says she believes none of the justices decide cases for partisan political reasons, but they do have different legal philosophies.

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