The U.S. Supreme Court's newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, was elevated to the high court by the narrowest margin in 222 years.

But his appointment gives the court a conservative majority that could last for decades.

That majority could make an impact on three major issues that appear destined for the Supreme Court: abortion rights, the DACA program for Dreamers, and employment rights for gay and lesbian citizens.

All could reach the court by the end of its current term next June:

Abortion rights

More than a dozen abortion cases are working their way through lower courts. Any one of them could reach the Supreme Court. The issues are diverse: parental consent, limits on abortion clinics and a ban on certain procedures. None would directly challenge the legality of court's Roe vs Wade decision.


President Donald Trump's quest to end the deferred action program for Dreamers has taken a bumpy road to the court.

Four DACA-related lawsuits are in the pipeline. One of them could reach the court next spring. Meantime, Dreamers can continue to renew their permits to remain in the United States.

Gay rights

There's a potential landmark case on gay rights on the horizon. Lower courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether federal law protects gays and lesbians from discrimination on the job.