U.S. Supreme Court to tackle gay rights, guns and abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court's new term opens next week.

And the conservative majority is poised to steer the bench rightward on divisive issues including abortion, gay rights and gun control.

The nine justices on Tuesday will hear their first major case, on whether federal civil rights law protects gay and transgender people from employment discrimination.

Next month they will weigh the legality of President Donald Trump's move to end a program known as DACA, which protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought into the United States as children from deportation.

In December the court could hear arguments over the first major gun rights case in a decade.

The court could also announce as soon as this week whether it will tackle abortion restrictions enacted in Louisiana and Indiana.

Many of these cases could produce 5-4 rulings along ideological lines with the conservative justices crafting the opinion and the four liberal justices in dissent.

President Donald Trump helped cement the Court’s conservative tilt, appointing Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh last year.

But the court's chief justice, John Roberts, hasn't always sided with his fellow conservatives.

Last term Roberts joined the four liberals in blocking Trump from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census.

The health of the court's oldest justice, 86-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also could be an issue in the court's nine-month term.

But Ginsburg has made a few public appearances since her latest treatment for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, and said she is "on my way to being very well."

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