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Workers cover the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, with a protective scrim, as work continues on the facade. The Supreme Court is embarking on a new term beginning Monday that could be as consequential as the last one with the prospect for major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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.