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US Supreme Court kicks off new, possibly historic term

by AirTalk®

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People wait to enter outside the US Supreme Court March 21, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

At least four controversial issues, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, voting rights, and abortion, may be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this term. A case about affirmative action has escalated in light of the fact that universities consider race as a major factor in student admissions in order to maintain diverse campuses. The constitutionality of same-sex marriage and “equal protection” rights of gay and lesbian couples to wed has also become a widely debated issue that the court may hear.

Challenges to meticulous federal oversight of state and local elections and to voter identification laws are also expected to be argued in front of the high court. Perhaps the most contested topic of all, the legality of abortion, may be put under the SCOTUS-scope due to contentious state “personhood” laws that say life begins at conception.

Which cases will you be watching for? Which of these controversial issues are most important to you?


Lisa McElroy, Professor of Law, Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law and writes the Plain English column on

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