The Supreme Court is on the verge of finishing its October 2012 term, with the most anticipated decisions yet to come. In a flurry that resumes Thursday and concludes next week, the court is scheduled to release its final 14 decisions. These include the oldest case in the undecided bunch, a University of Texas affirmative action challenge that was argued last October, as well as more recently argued cases concerning same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Some patterns remain constant, including the significant role played by swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy and the persistence of certain alliances. The court's newest justices, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, have thus far sided with each a remarkable 97 percent of the time this term. On the opposite end of the spectrum, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and conservative Justice Samuel Alito agreed only 66 percent of the time.