Law: Enter, Stage Right

Cast conservatively, the court returns for a busy new session

They showed their colors last term. From civil rights to criminal procedures to privacy protections, the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court took a series of dramatic rightward steps that made them the most conservative high bench in a generation. This week, as the Justices open a new session, the question is not whether the court will continue along that path but how far and how fast it will go. Says University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein: "Some decisions that people on the left saw as benchmarks are contestable again."

That is a chilling thought for civil libertarians -- and...

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