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US Supreme Court to choose among 2,000 petitions

People wait to enter the US Supreme Court on June 24, 2013 in Washington, DC
People wait to enter the US Supreme Court on June 24, 2013 in Washington, DC

The US Supreme Court returned after a recess Monday for a closed-door meeting to review more than 2,000 cases that piled up in recent months to determine which ones they will take up.

The top US court -- whose decisions help shape the nation's biggest issues -- is set to announce Tuesday the cases it intends to rule on this year.

The nine justices have said their Tuesday session will not be interrupted even if the government shuts down over failed budget negotiations.

Among the most hotly anticipated potential cases are Argentine debt, Internet threats, and warrantless mobile phones searches.

The court is also expected to take up one or more of several greenhouse gas and death penalty suits. In one case, death row inmate Warren Hill has petitioned to have his sentence commuted to life in prison because of mental disabilities.

The first months of hearings are already programmed with cases on abortion, prayers at the start of local government meetings, and campaign financing. But the court still has room to fill out its schedule through early 2014.

The selection process will continue throughout this new session, until the court's calendar is full. Any remaining cases would be held for the following session.

Each year, the court receives around 8,000 petitions.

Hearings start Monday and run through April 30.