June 15, 2014 – 4:36 AM EDT
By MARK SHERMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s crunch time at the Supreme Court, where the justices are racing to issue opinions in 17 cases over the next two weeks.
The religious rights of corporations, the speech rights of abortion protesters and the privacy rights of people under arrest are among the significant issues that are so far unresolved.
Summer travel, European teaching gigs and relaxation beckon, but only after the court hands down decisions in all the cases it has heard since October.
In rare instances, the justices will put off decisions and order a case to be argued again in the next term.
This is also the time of the year when a justice could announce a retirement. But the oldest of the justices, 81-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has signaled she will serve at least one more year, and maybe longer.
The justices will meet Monday and again on Thursday to issue opinions, and could wind up their work by the end of the month.
A look at some of the cases that remain:
– Contraceptive coverage: Corporations are claiming the right to exercise religious objections to covering women’s contraceptives under their employee health insurance plans, despite the new health law’s requirement that birth control be among a range of no-cost preventive services included in health plans.
– Abortion clinic buffer zones: Abortion opponents are challenging as a violation of their speech rights a Massachusetts law mandating a 35-foot protest-free zone on public sidewalks outside abortion clinics.
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