— Marriage equality. In U.S. vs. Windsor, lawyers hired by congressional Republicans after the Obama administration refused to appeal are asking the court to reject a federal court judgment against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which bars marriage rights for gay couples. The case involves a New York woman who sued after her same-sex spouse died and she was denied a marriage exemption on federal estate taxes.
— Voting rights. The Alabama case, Shelby County vs. Holder, challenges Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires all or parts of states with a history of discriminatory practices — mostly in the South and West — to submit any change in their voting systems to the Justice Department for approval before enacting them. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could spell the end of such federal oversight in several states that have been moving to make voter eligibility more stringent.