As the political drama swirls over replenishing its ranks, the state Supreme Court opens a new session today poised to take on cases that could test the powers of the governor, determine the future of beach replenishment projects and clarify whether new technology in crime-fighting may violate privacy rights. The state’s highest court has two empty slots because of a fight between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Chris Christie that began in March 2010, when the governor did not reappoint Justice John Wallace Jr., the court’s only minority. This year the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected two of the governor’s nominees. One of the hot-button issues facing the court this term involves the governor. The court will determine whether Christie had the authority to dismantle the Council on Affordable Housing and transfer its responsibilities to the state Department of Community Affairs.