We’re tracking a lot of politically-charged trends and topics unfolding in the media, like the explosive issue of religious freedom (+6 @ 80 TrendSignal pts.) and federally mandated contraceptive coverage (+11 @ 57 pts.) that was featured in the media last month.

Both moved into top prior-month change positions in our Politics – U.S. trend category.

What’s at stake?  Plenty, as the Supreme Court considers the rights of corporations to impose their religious beliefs on their employees’  health care choices.  Legal experts say the court is all but certain to step in, setting the stage for another major decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform NC @ 92 pts.) two years after a closely divided court sustained the ACA’s requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

Taking some liberty with the New York Times coverage: “This is a perfect storm,” said Richard Garnett, a law professor at Notre Dame, adding that it is also a worrisome one. “Debates about campaign finance in Citizens United and abortion (+2 @83 pts.) and Obamacare,” he said, “could distort the court’s analysis of religious freedom.”