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FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2010, file photo U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for a photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Four Republican-appointed justices, front row from left, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy and top right, Samuel Alito Jr., control the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. For the law to stand only one of the four needs to decide that it, and its centerpiece of requiring almost every American to buy insurance or pay a penalty, passes constitutional muster. At top left is Justice Stephen Breyer. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2010, file photo U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for a photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Four Republican-appointed justices, front row from left, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy and top right, Samuel Alito Jr., control the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. For the law to stand only one of the four needs to decide that it, and its centerpiece of requiring almost every American to buy insurance or pay a penalty, passes constitutional muster. At top left is Justice Stephen Breyer. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, 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.