U.S. Supreme Court

Associated Press
FILE - This Oct. 8, 2010 file photo shows the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left are Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left are Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito Jr., and Elena Kagan.  The Supreme Court on Thursday, June 28, 2012, upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

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On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term that is shaping up to be as important as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.

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