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SCOTUS conservatives get a chance to flex their muscles

Justice Neil Gorsuch speaks at the Trump hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Supreme Court today kicks off a term that's already loaded with exceptionally important and politically charged issues — including gay rights, workers' rights, privacy in the smartphone era, and even the political process itself.

What to watch: All of those rulings will reverberate deeply throughout American life. Many of them give the court's right-leaning majority a chance to flex its muscles. And they'll be colored by a changing dynamic on the court itself, as the hard-charging conservatism of its youngest justice, Neil Gorsuch, meets the moderating influence of its oldest, Anthony Kennedy.