Justices back at Supreme Court after nearly 19-month absence

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has begun a momentous new term, back in the courtroom after a nearly 19-month absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Abortion, guns and religion all are on the agenda for a court with a rightward tilt, including three justices appointed by President Donald Trump.

Eight of the nine justices took the bench Monday morning for the first arguments of the new term.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh is participating remotely from his home after testing positive for COVID-19 late last week.

The court said Kavanaugh, who was vaccinated in January, is showing no symptoms.

All the other justices also have been vaccinated.

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