Nothing on the court's growing 2012 13 docket has the potential to match its 5 4 decision to uphold President Obama's health care law last June. But before the term is out, the justices are likely to examine American institutions as fundamental Reebok Red as the right to marry, vote and get an education. solicitor general who argued in the court against the health care law.
"Last term was a term of a decade because 'Obamacare' was a case of a decade," says Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar.
10%, in order to achieve diversity within as well as among racial and ethnic groups.
After a term in which Roberts played the swing vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the focus on race and sexual orientation is likely to return Justice Anthony Kennedy to that role. Kennedy, who takes a limited view on preferences but a more expansive view on equality, is sandwiched between Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Roberts on the right, and Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the left.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is likely to retake his role as the Supreme Court swing vote in the upcoming term.(Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court picks up Monday where it left off three months ago squarely in the middle of some of the nation's most politically divisive issues.
The justices have little chance to avoid controversy both because of the volatile issues headed their way and the political attention focused on their ideological divide.
The case has the potential to set a national precedent, just as two cases involving the University of Michigan did in 2006. Then, the court ruled that using race as a factor in admissions was constitutional, but a strict formula was not.
action program but join the liberals in favor of gay marriage. The scope of those decisions, however, would be critical in determining their broader applicability.
The court's liberal wing could win out, however, on the most explosive issue: gay marriage. Numerous challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a lower court's ruling that it's unconstitutional make it likely the justices will accept at least one case next month.
Most experts, such as American University Washington College of Law professor Stephen Wermiel, predict a narrow decision against the university's affirmative action program, but without national consequence. Still, proponents of racial preferences are nervous; the 2006 decision upholding Michigan's program was written Saucony Shadow 6000 Grey
Race, sex, education
There's even a chance the court will be asked to intervene in the November elections by ruling on state efforts to require photo identification, restrict registration drives or regulate early voting.
Three issues are getting most of the attention at the start of the term
Supreme Court to delve into more divisive issues
Affirmative action: In Fisher v. University of Texas, the court will decide whether the school's racial preferences went too far in passing over Abigail Fisher, a white high school student in 2008.
The university applied two rules: It accepted the top 10% of students from all Texas high schools, including those dominated by African Americans and Hispanics. And it included race as a factor in reaching beyond the top Reebok Grey Running Shoes
Experts such as Santa Clara University School of Law professor Bradley Joondeph predict Kennedy will join the conservatives against the affirmative Reebok Club C
by moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who since been replaced by conservative Justice Samuel Alito.
Story HighlightsThe Supreme Court new term begins on MondayJustice Kennedy is likely to return to his role as the swing voteAffirmative action, voting rights and same sex marriage among likely issues
Court watchers will be looking to see whether tensions from last year's health care decision carry over into the new term. Chief Justice John Roberts' fifth vote to uphold Obama's landmark overhaul of the nation's health insurance system created a rift among the court's conservatives.
In two of those cases, the court's conservatives appear to have the upper hand. That could lead to restraints on the use of race in college admissions and election administration.
"On abortion, race and gays, Kennedy matters," says Lisa Blatt, a partner at Arnold Porter who has argued 30 cases before the Supreme Court. Only abortion is likely to remain off the court's docket.
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