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U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court, which a few months ago combined the affirmative action cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on Friday separated the two cases.

The court did not say why it was separating the cases.

However, it is widely believed that the reason was to permit the court's newest member, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, to participate in the North Carolina case. Brown said during her confirmation hearings that she would not participate in the Harvard case because she was a member of Harvard's Board of Overseers. (She is not currently a member.)

Most observers believe that Brown will vote to support affirmative action. However, most observers believe five or six justices are likely to vote against affirmative action.

The cases will be heard in October or November.

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