U.S. Supreme Court Cases to be Heard During October Term which starts Oct. 5th.

Major cases and pending appeals that justices will consider in the new term, which starts Oct. 5.

RELIGION

Can the government erect a cross in a national park? The American Civil Liberties Union sued over the long-standing cross in California’s Mojave National Preserve and won a ruling that the display of a Christian symbol on public land violated the 1st Amendment’s ban on an “establishment of religion.” (Salazar vs. Buono. To be heard Oct. 7.)

ANIMAL CRUELTY

Can Congress make it a crime to sell videos of dogfights and other acts of animal cruelty? Last year, this law was struck down on free-speech grounds. (U.S. vs. Stevens. To be heard Oct. 6.)

MUTUAL FUNDS

Can shareholders sue to contest the high fees charged by investment advisors? In rejecting such a claim, a U.S. appeals court said that as long as the fees were disclosed, they were not subject to a legal challenge. (Jones vs. Harris Associates. To be heard Nov. 2.)

PRO SPORTS

Are the 32 teams in the National Football League shielded from antitrust claims because they operate as a single business? A Chicago-area maker of sports apparel sued after it was shut out from selling caps with a team logo. (American Needle vs. NFL. To be heard in January.)

GUN RIGHTS

Can municipal gun-control ordinances be challenged under the 2nd Amendment and its “right to keep and bear arms”? In the past, the court has said the 2nd Amendment applies only to the federal government. (Appeal pending in NRA vs. Chicago and McDonald vs. Chicago.)

PRISONER PHOTOS

Does the Freedom of Information Act require the U.S. military to release more photos of prisoners being abused in Iraq and Afghanistan? Judges ordered the release of photos, but President Obama appealed, arguing that the adverse publicity could endanger U.S. troops. (Appeal pending in U.S. Department of Defense vs. ACLU.)

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