The Supreme Court begins a new term Monday with a number of controversial issues.
They offer the court's conservative majority the chance to move aggressively to undo limits on campaign contributions, undermine claims of discrimination in housing and mortgage lending, and allow for more government-sanctioned prayer.
The term is short on the high-profile battles over health care and gay marriage that marked the past two years.
Several cases ask the court to overrule prior decisions -- bold action in an institution that values precedent.
The justices will hear a case that goes to the heart of the partisan impasse in Washington: the president's power to use recess appointments to fill key positions without Senate confirmation.
There's no expectation that October arguments might need to be rescheduled because of the shutdown.