John Roberts, confirmed by the Senate last Thursday, took the court's center seat Monday. While he was formally sworn in Thursday, Roberts participated in a ceremonial investiture Monday before convening his first session as chief justice, replacing William Rehnquist, who died Sept. 3.
The court heard arguments in two cases. One covered workers' rights and the other American Indians entrepreneurial endeavors and states rights.
The justices have agreed to review 48 cases this term, a caseload that may increase as the session goes on. Controversial issues abound, with cases involving abortion rights, free speech and the death penalty are scheduled for argument.
There could soon be another fresh face on the court, which had gone 11 terms without a new member. Monday, President Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriett Miers to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, who said she wishes to retire.