The Supreme Court is opening for business in the midst of a partial government shutdown.

(L-R) Supreme Court Justices, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan (Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

The justices take the bench today for the start of their new term with important cases about campaign contributions, housing discrimination, government-sanctioned prayer and the president's recess appointments already on tap.

Abortion, contraceptive coverage under the new health care law and cellphone privacy also may find their way onto the court's calendar.

The court announced it will operate normally at least through the end of this week. The justices are hearing six arguments, including a challenge to limits on campaign contributions.

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