Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing, Sept. 15, 1987. John Duricka/AP hide caption

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Edith Windsor, 83, is asking the Supreme Court to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. When Windsor's female spouse died, the federal government, acting under DOMA, required Windsor to pay estate taxes that she would not have owed if her spouse had been a man. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures. Julie Bennett/AP hide caption

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Miami-Dade Detective Douglas Bartelt and narcotics detector canine Franky give a demonstration in Miami in 2011. Alan Diaz/AP hide caption

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Miami-Dade narcotics detector canine Franky, who came out of retirement to give a demonstration, sniffs marijuana in Miami in 2011. Franky's supersensitive nose is at the heart of a question being put to the U.S. Supreme Court: Does a police K-9's sniff outside a house give officers the right to get a search warrant for illegal drugs? Alan Diaz/AP hide caption

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A New York case in which a same-sex couple was denied a tax benefit is likely headed to the Supreme Court. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Sen. Arlen Specter, a member of the Senate Government Affairs Committee investigating campaign fundraising abuses, questions a witness during hearings on Capitol Hill on July 9, 1997. Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Abigail Fisher, the Texan involved in the University of Texas affirmative action case, talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Students walk through the University of Texas, Austin, campus near the school's iconic tower on Sept. 27. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

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The U.S. Supreme Court is embarking on a new term beginning Monday that could be as consequential as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings on affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke with NPR on Tuesday at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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