Justiceline: October 3, 2011

Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.

  • The Supreme Court returns to Washington today for the opening of its latest term. Although the docket includes several important criminal cases, a major First Amendment censorship case and significant health care case that is being argued today, these cases are largely overshadowed by the anticipation that the Court will agree to hear the Affordable Care Act case and various challenges to unconstitutional state immigration laws.
  • Six justices attended the so-called Red Mass yesterday, a Catholic service coinciding with the opening of the term. In the past, the priest leading the mass has used it to rail against abortion or other social issues. This year’s service was more toned down.
  • Professor Anita Hill, who testified that Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her during his confirmation hearings, suggests that the outcome of that hearing may have been different if she were white.
  • In non-Supreme Court news, the Senate is expected to confirm six judges tonight — barely enough to even make a dent in the growing number of judicial vacancies.
  • A poll finds that 56 percent of North Carolina residents oppose writing anti-gay discrimination into the state’s constitution.