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SCOTUS returns from hiatus, prepares for cases on abortion, gun rights, DACA

The Supreme Court returned from hiatus on Monday to tackle issues like gun control, abortion, and gay rights.

The court will begin hearing arguments on Tuesday to determine if existing laws cover discrimination against LGBT workers. Federal legislation called the Equality Act that would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity passed the House of Representatives in May but stalled in the Senate over concerns about religious liberty. The court will decide if orientation and gender identity are covered under existing gender discrimination laws.

SCOTUS will also determine if the Trump administration can suspend DACA, an Obama-era program that provides temporary legal status to 700,000 foreign nationals who came to the U.S. as children.

Federal courts across the country filed injunctions attempting to stop the administration from ending the program.

The Justice Department told the high court in legal filings that the DACA injunctions require “the government to preserve a policy that affirmatively sanctions the ongoing violation of federal law by 700,000 aliens who have no lawful immigration status and no right to the policy’s continuation.” The court will hear the DACA case beginning on November 12.

The court will also hear a case concerning gun transportation laws in New York City starting December 2, as well as the first abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018. The case involves a Louisiana law, which requires that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals. There is currently no set date for when arguments begin for the case.