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Monday status conference: Souter’s last stand

Today the U.S. Supreme Court meets for the last time this term, making it Justice David Souter’s last day at the office. Among the items on today’s agenda is the release of the decision stemming from a ruling joined by the judge nominated to replace him, 2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

That opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano, which considers whether the decision by New Haven city officials to throw out results of a civil service test for firefighters to prevent minorities from being denied promotions was in itself discriminatory. Ricci is one of three remaining cases to be decided by the Court today.

Meanwhile,

Supreme confrontation:  The Supreme Court ruling requiring criminal lab report analysts to be available at trial for cross-examination was hailed by defense attorneys who say it will help protect against wrongful convictions. But prosecutors say that the decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts will tax their already strapped resources. (Lawyers USA)

GM liability compromise: After a host of campaigns my consumer advocates and trial attorney groups who said the bankruptcies of U.S. automakers would leave car owners without legal recourse for product failures, General Motors has agreed to take on responsibility for future product liability claims. Other claims would still be processed through bankruptcy proceedings.  (Lawyers USA)

Will Court take up Sotomayor’s Second Amendment case? Several petitions for certiorari have been filed challenging a 2nd Circuit ruling, joined by Sotomayor, that the right to keep nunchucks was not protected by the Second Amendment. (SCOTUSblog)

GOP leaders ask for more time on Sotomayor: After more than 300 boxes of documents related to Sotomayor’s nomination landed in his office in recent days, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers need more time to vet the candidate. Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings are set to begin in two weeks. (AP)

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