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Monday status conference: Cherry blossom edition

Good morning. Just as the cherry blossoms are being celebrated here this week, Congress returns from its two-week recess. The Supreme Court could issue some orders today, although no oral arguments are scheduled for the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile:

The U.S. News & World Report law school rankings are officially released today. (Fox Business)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to meet with House Republican leaders Tuesday to discuss the U.S. economy and housing market problems. (Reuters).

Democrats are urging President Bush to endorse their housing assistance proposal, which would let bankruptcy judges lower payments for homeowners staring at foreclosure. (AP)

Meanwhile some Republicans are stuck between constituents demanding protection from foreclosure and party leaders urging restraint. (NYT)

The Bush administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the way the government regulates the nation’s financial services industry from banks and securities firms to mortgage brokers and insurance companies. (AP)

Attorney General Michael Mukasey talked tough on intellectual property crime, saying the theft of inventions poses a threat to the nation’s “health and safety” and fosters terrorism. (Wired News)

President Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch in the new Nationals Park, to cheers and boos. (AP)

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