The new Supreme Court term begins with observers asking if the addition of Samuel Alito and John Roberts will lead to a string of conservative reversals of earlier opinions. With the departure of moderate justice Sandra Day O'Connor, it may now be the court that conservative politicians have been dreaming of for years.
The first Monday in October is the traditional opening day of a new Supreme Court term. Last term, the court seemed to tread water in most of its rulings, giving only occasional hints that a conservative revolution was waiting to take off.
In fact, the conservatives were in the minority in the last term's biggest case, when the justices struck down President Bush's military tribunal system.
But many legal analysts expect the new term to be very different. The court's upcoming cases touch on the issues of abortion, affirmative action and air pollution, in addition to immigration and patent law.
While the 2006-2007 term officially begins Monday, the court will not hear arguments because of the Yom Kippur holiday. Oral arguments in the new term will begin Tuesday.