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Kagan, 50, has recused herself from 25 of the 51 cases the court has accepted so far this term, all as a result of her 14-month tenure as solicitor general, the government's chief legal representative in the Supreme Court and the nation's lower appellate courts.
But initially, Kagan's absence will affect some important corporate and employment- discrimination cases, as well as a highly anticipated review of one of Arizona's attempts to crack down on illegal immigrants.