Familiar, divisive social issues on Supreme Court agenda

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, left, Stephen Breyer, center, and Clarence Thomas, leave St. Mathews Cathedral, after the Red Mass in Washington on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The Supreme Court's new term starts Monday, Oct. 5.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, left, Stephen Breyer, center, and Clarence Thomas, leave St. Mathews Cathedral, after the Red Mass in Washington on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The Supreme Court's new term starts Monday, Oct. 5. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, left, Stephen Breyer, center, and Clarence Thomas, leave St. Mathews Cathedral, after the Red Mass in Washington on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The Supreme Court's new term starts Monday, Oct. 5. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, left, Stephen Breyer, center, and Clarence Thomas, leave St. Mathews Cathedral, after the Red Mass in Washington on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The Supreme Court’s new term starts Monday, Oct. 5.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s new term began Monday with no cross words between the justices, although a steady stream of divisive social issues awaits them in the coming months.

In their first public meeting since a number of high-profile decisions in June displayed passionate, sometimes barbed disagreement, the justices were deferential to each other even as they engaged in typically aggressive questioning of lawyers.

The court also rejected hundreds of appeals that piled up over the summer, including one from the Obama administration that claimed it will have a much tougher time prosecuting insider-trading cases because of a lower court ruling from New York. San Jose, California also lost its bid to lure the Athletics from Oakland over the objection of Major League Baseball.

Without comment, the high court left in place a decision by the federal appeals court in New York last year that threw out the insider trading convictions of two high-profile hedge fund managers. The federal government’s pursuit of insider trading on Wall Street resulted in more than 80 arrests and 70 convictions over several years.

Just after 10 a.m., Chief Justice John Roberts formally closed the previous term, most notable for its decision extending same-sex marriage nationwide, and began the new one.

As often happens, 82-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first justice to speak in a case that involves a California woman who lost her legs in a horrific accident after she fell while attempting to board a train in Innsbruck, Austria. The issue is whether she can sue the state-owned Austrian railway in U.S. courts.

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