Washington Post article.
"In the final days of the Supreme Court's term, the stage is set for the divisions that narrowly but decisively split the justices on social issues to be on full display.
The court has already decided more cases on 5 to 4 votes this term than in all of last term -- some of them favoring the court's liberal wing, more won by the conservatives. This week, the opportunity is there for the court reconstituted under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to make a bold statement.
The cases remaining concern some of the most divisive of social and policy questions: the use of race in public school admission programs; the constitutionality of advertising restrictions in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act; whether ordinary taxpayers have the right to sue over what they perceive to be violations of the separation of church and state.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the only member of the court to be in the majority in all 16 of this term's 5 to 4 decisions, has sided more consistently with conservatives in recently announced cases.
The result has been important rulings providing more protection for employers fighting claims of past discrimination, limits on prisoner rights and death penalty appeals, and the term's signature decision -- reversing the court's jurisprudence on abortion restrictions to uphold the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.
The conservative opinions, with the exception of the abortion ruling, have been for the most part low-key in tone and shaped by what the authors said was a strict reading of congressional statutes. The liberal justices have responded in unified dissents to amplify their unhappiness."