The Supreme Court is about to begin its 2023-24 session on the first Monday in October, the federal government may shut down over the weekend, and GOP presidential candidates not named Donald Trump bickered and talked over each other during an exhausting-to-watch debate last night. And in another important event this fall, I have made this year's first batch of tomato jam, using tomatoes from a beautiful farm in nearby Ipswich, Massachusetts.

If you want to know more about tomato jam, I direct you to the recipe on Page 43 of the 2011 edition of “Food in Jars,” by Marisa McClellan – but don’t use the cloves if you make the recipe. If you want to know more about the upcoming Supreme Court term, scholar Morgan Marietta, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Arlington, has that covered for you.

“Two years ago, the court began what many consider to be a constitutional revolution,” writes Marietta. Over these past two sessions, the conservative supermajority introduced doctrines on abortion, guns, religion and race. Those new doctrines themselves prompt questions about where the constitutional limits now lie. “Aggressive litigants will push the boundaries of the new doctrine, attempting to stretch it to their advantage. After a period of uncertainty, a case that defines the limits on the new rule is likely to emerge.”

This new term, Marietta writes, should help define limits in two areas: cases about guns and the power of the administrative state.

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Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Democracy

The Supreme Court begins its new term on Oct. 2, 2023. Douglas Rissing/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Supreme Court supermajority will clarify its constitutional revolution this year, deciding cases on guns and regulations

Morgan Marietta, University of Texas at Arlington

The Supreme Court in recent terms has upended the interpretation of core laws. This term, the justices will decide just how far this revolution goes.

A shutdown’s effects will be broad and deep. gguy44/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

What will this government shutdown shut down? Social Security and the IRS keep going; SBA loans and some food and safety inspections do not

Laura Blessing, Georgetown University

You won’t be able to ignore a government shutdown. From delayed business loans to slower mortgage applications and postponed food inspections, the effects could be substantial.

Past as prologue: October could bring yet another government shutdown. Jorge Villalba/iStock via Getty Images

GOP shutdown threat is the wrong way to win a budget war − history shows a better strategy for reducing the deficit

Raymond Scheppach, University of Virginia

Shutting down the government won’t help reduce the deficit. Here’s what would.

War in Ukraine is contributing to the erosion of global consensus over the spread of dangerous weapons

Nolan Fahrenkopf, University at Albany, State University of New York

Post-9/11 international cooperation on weapons proliferation is giving way to a fractured regime dominated by ideology.

What is an abaya − and why does it cause such controversy in France? A scholar of European studies explains

Armin Langer, University of Florida

In some conservative countries, the abaya is part of expected dress. But in countries where Muslims are in the minority, the abaya can be a way for women to connect with their religious identity.

Azerbaijan’s use of force in Nagorno-Karabakh risks undermining key international norms, signaling to dictators that might makes right

Nareg Seferian, Virginia Tech

Violence has caused thousands to flee the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh amid anger over perceived lack of action from Washington or the international community.

Traditional downtowns are dead or dying in many US cities − what’s next for these zones?

John Rennie Short, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Developers have overbuilt office and commercial space in US cities for decades. Now, in the wake of pandemic shutdowns, many downtowns face hard choices about the future.

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