Not by choice, but by necessity, members of the Supreme Court may play a critical role in next year’s Presidential election. The Obama administration requested last week that the 12 members of the Court, who serve without seeking election, rule on the constitutionality the President’s much-contested health care reform law.

The request ups the likelihood of a summer 2012 ruling, which means that this critical platform issue may be decided just as the election hits a fever pitch.

If the Court follows expectations and reviews the law during their coming term, it would define the session.

Other hot-button issues that could have an election impact include immigration and affirmative action.

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