Challenges to the power of the president, Congress and the judiciary, from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to state death rows, will provide early drama and potential landmark rulings in the new term of the still-evolving Roberts Court.

If the U.S. Supreme Court had agreed to decide only the two cases involving the tension between Congress’ Military Commissions Act of 2006, governing treatment of Guantanamo detainees, and the judiciary’s federal habeas corpus jurisdiction, those cases likely would be enough to make the term stand out in court history books.