Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight?
The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don't.
There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign.
"The court prides itself appropriately as being an institution that works," said Washington lawyer Andy Pincus, who argues regularly at the Supreme Court.
If the court can demonstrate an ability to get its work done, that could reinforce Republican opposition to confirming federal Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Scalia, who died in February.
At the same time, the court has split 4-4 in two cases and part of a third, and the justices could end up similarly divided over immigration, birth control and a couple of other issues. Scalia's death has deprived the court's conservatives of a fifth, majority-making vote on some high-profile issues.
In McDonnell's appeal of his corruption convictions, however, liberal and conservative justices seemed to share a deep skepticism of the government's case. They strongly suggested that the court eventually will set aside his criminal conviction.