The Supreme Court will begin its annual term Monday with a schedule that includes cases on abortion rights, school integration and global warming, topics that will test the impact of the court’s two new conservative members, reports USA Today. Such disputes, and a slate of business cases, could offer significant clues on how Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will influence the law. Both have roots in Ronald Reagan’s administration and were touted by President Bush as reliable conservatives.
Roberts replaced another conservative, the late William Rehnquist. Alito succeeded the retired Sandra Day O’Connor, a moderate justice who was at the court’s ideological center. “The outcome of these new cases will tell us a great deal about the future direction of the Roberts court, on specific issues and more generally on the court’s respect for past rulings,” American Civil Liberties Union legal director Steven Shapiro says.