Same Sex Marriage; Affirmative Action On The Table As Supreme Court Opens New Session Today

10.01.12 | Sarah Harnisch

The U.S. Supreme Court opens its annual term today.  Thomas Goldstein, publisher of, says the high court is expected to consider some key cases involving affirmative action, voting rights and same-sex marriage. He says "the justices are moving from the frying pan right into the fire. They are tackling some of the most difficult legal questions of the day. It's probably the biggest term in at least a decade." The justices are also expected to take up a critical case that could decide whether American judges have authority to hear lawsuits involving human rights atrocities in other countries.  They'll be reviewing the reach of the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law that attorneys have used to file lawsuits accusing U.S. and foreign corporations of wrongdoing.  

An interesting tidbit: 6 of the 9 justices were in church Sunday, attending the Annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle in Washington. The event brings people together to pray for the justices before the high court starts hearing new cases each year.