Supreme Court Term Opens

This Supreme Court term has slated an interesting crop of cases that may force Judge Kennedy to resume his role as a swing vote on the Court. Last term, Kennedy largely went home to his roots by voting regularly with the conservative wing of the Court. This term, however, the cases fell into areas where Kennedy has tended in the past to vote with the left of the Court. This includes an interesting virtual child porn case pitting the first amendment against public outcry over child porngraphy. There is also a detainee case out of Cuba. In a rare move, a justice clearly switched sides in adding the fourth needed vote to accept the case after it was initially rejected. There is also a voting identification case that will decide whether photo ids can be required to combat voting fraud. Also, out of Washington state, there is a fascinating case over whether there is a constitutional protection for a two-party system. In that state, the two top vote getters from the open primary are the candidates for the general election — even if they are from the same party. For those who want to break away from the hold of the two parties, it is a variation that could be promising in allowing third party candidates to emerge. For a list of cases, click here