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Will Jolie’s announcement affect SCOTUS gene ruling? Probably not

What is Angelina Jolie’s connection to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Earlier this week the actress revealed that she underwent a preventative double mastectomy after she tested positive for a gene that indicates an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer. That gene is one of those at issue in the Supreme Court case Association of Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics Inc. A decision in that case, which considers if human genes are patentable, is expected late next month.

USA Today’s Richard Wolf writes that it’s unclear how much – if at all – news reports sway the decision of the justices since the members of the court meet privately to discuss and vote on pending cases.  But it’s worth noting that justices generally vote on cases a few days after oral arguments, and the gene patent case was heard last month. Absent a late change of heart (and vote) by one of the justices, the case likely has already been decided, and the opinion and possible dissents and concurrences were already being drafted long before Jolie’s announcement.

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