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Monday status conference: Let OT ’08 begin!

While the the financial bailout deal reached in Congress dominates the news, today is a big day for another Washington institution – the Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court officially kick off the October 2008 Term today by holding their first private conference. Among the cases the justice will consider today is that of Georgia death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis, who was granted a last-minute stay by the Court last week pending his petition. Also today the Court will consider whether to rehear Kennedy v. Louisiana, where the Court invalidated the death penalty for child rape. More here from SCOTUSBlog on the cases that the justices will tackle today. Stay tuned to DC Dicta for news coming out of today’s conference.

Meanwhile,

Jumping out of the pool: Justice Samuel Alito is opting out of the “cert. pool” this year, and will instead have his own clerks review the petitions for cert-worthiness. He joins Justice John Paul Stevens in his decision to stay poolside. (Legal Times)

Scalia is a judicial activist? That is what Judges J. Harvie Wilkinson of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals say about Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion last term in D.C. v. Heller, in which the Court narrowly struck down the city’s handgun ban.  (AP)

Administrative fix-it plan: The Federal Trade Commission has proposed new rules to improve and streamline enforcement actions tried before administrative law judges. (National Law Journal)

Cash strapped and (In-)House poor? Corporate legal departments are cutting back, reducing the number of in-house lawyers they employ and slowing the pace of spending on outside firms. (Legal Blog Watch)

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