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The Supreme Court’s Dec. 7 announcement that it will hear two cases related to same-sex marriage this term is expected to spur dozens of interested parties to file amicus curiae, or friend-of-the-court, briefs in the coming months.

Drafting the filings, which are typically made by non-litigant parties who have a stake in the outcome, can be a significant undertaking. But the briefs can also have an appreciable effect by focusing on a particular legal angle, providing additional facts or highlighting the implications of a ruling on a particular group. The briefs are sometimes cited in justices’ opinions.

The accompanying graphic provides a look at the groups that plan to file with the court in an attempt to influence the outcome.

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