U.S. Supreme Court building
U.S. Supreme Court building - 
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: The Supreme Court hears its first cases of the term today, and it's a very business-heavy agenda, as Steve Henn reports.

Steve Henn: Under former chief Justice William Rehnquist, the Supreme Court's appetite for complex cases about patent law or securities fraud was, well, limited. But Ted Frank, a lawyer at the American Enterprise Institute, says lately:

Ted Frank: The court has been more willing to accept business cases as part of its docket.

One reason is Chief Justice John Roberts. Today, the court will weigh states' ability to crack down on allegedly fraudulent cigarette advertising, and hear another case about the nitty gritty of court jurisdiction in arbitration cases. Not exactly Brown v. Board of Ed, but Frank says:

Frank: I think there is a greater recognition of how important these cases are, and how important it is to have consistent rulings across the nation on these things.

The last two terms show not only is big business more likely to get a hearing, it's also more likely to win.

In Washington, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.