5 / 13
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2011, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito attends the The Federalist Society's 2011 Annual Dinner in Washington. One never knows when the Supreme Court will hand down its last, often biggest, opinions of the term. But the justices' summer travel schedules make it a pretty safe bet that blockbuster health care and immigration cases will be decided by the end of June. Alito will spend part of July teaching American law students at summer programs in Europe. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

U.S. Supreme Court

On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term that is shaping up to be as important as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.