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The US Supreme Court began its latest session with a thunderous silence: not even explaining why it refused to consider same-sex marriage. The court may be off to a quiet start, but it’s famously divided, and legal thinkers aren’t ruling out the prospect of big noise before the term is all over. The justices will decide cases about religious beards and head-scarves, violent speech on the Internet and discrimination in voting. At least one potential blockbuster waits in the wings: a case that could essentially scuttle Obamacare.

Also, ISIS reaches the Turkish border, and presidential politics and personal scandal.

Banner Image: First day of the Supreme Court session; Credit: Victoria Pickering

Turkish President Warns of ISIS on Its Border 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Turkish President Erdogan warned today that ISIS is about to take over a town on Turkey’s border with Syria. He called for a “ground operation” to defeat the so-called Islamic State, saying bombs dropped by the U.S.-led coalition are “not enough.”

Catherine James is a freelance reporter writing for the Guardian newspaper in Great Britain. She’s been reporting from the Turkey-Syria border, and joins us now from Turkey.

Catherine James, The Guardian (@cathjam)

The Supreme Court’s New Term 33 MIN, 50 SEC

At yesterday’s opening session, the US Supreme Court declined to take up cases involving same-sex marriage. Was that a surprise—or not?

First, today’s arguments in the case of a notorious prisoner in Arkansas—a self-proclaimed Muslim jihadist who stabbed his ex-girlfriend. He says his religion requires him to wear a half-inch beard—contrary to the rules in state prison.

Dahlia Lithwick, Legal Affairs correspondent for Slate (@dahlialithwick)
Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University (@jadler1969)
Adam Winkler, University of California, Los Angeles (@adamwinkler)
Kate Toomey, Lewis Baach (@lewisbaach)

Matt Bai on the Week That Politics Went Tabloid 9 MIN, 43 SEC

Colorado’s Democratic US Senator Gary Hart lost his party’s presidential nomination in 1984… but four years later, he looked like a winner. Then the Miami Herald investigated a rumor that turned out to be true, that Hart was having an extra-marital affair with a young, blonde named Donna Rice. Hart quit the campaign, and he’s most often remembered for the picture of Donna Rice on his lap on the deck of a yacht called “Monkey Business.” That’s the heart of a new book on what Hart’s demise meant for political journalism. It’s All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai, formerly of the New York Times, now with Yahoo!.

Matt Bai, Yahoo! News (@mattbai)

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