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Friday morning docket: Health care and high court

It’s been a busy week in Washington, as the White House and members of Congress have immersed themselves in the debate over revamping the nation’s health case system, not to mention confirming the president’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But President Obama won’t get his wish of having health care legislation passed before lawmakers break for summer recess – the best he can hope for now is for the debate to resume in the fall. Perhaps he can take some solace in the fact that not all Republican senators are opposing his SCOTUS pick, 2nd Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Next week the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its vote on Sotomayor, which could be followed in a matter of days by a full Senate vote.

Meanwhile,

Arbitration turmoil: Hundreds of thousands of arbitration awards have been thrown into jeopardy after the National Arbitration Forum and the American Arbitration Association announced they would stop debt collection arbitrations. (Lawyers USA)

Pleading for change: This week Sen. Arlen Specter filed a bill that would reverse Supreme Court rulings in Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, which toughened pleading standards for plaintiffs in civil claims. (The VLW Blog)

States jump after SCOTUS rule: Virginia will convene its legislature for a rare summer session next month to pass legislation to conform to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Mass., requiring crime lab analysts to be available to testify at criminal trials. Officials in other states including Massachusetts – where the case originated – are pondering similar action of prevent pending criminal cases from being delayed or dismissed. (WaPo, State House News Service [Boston])

Health care bill’s bells and whistleblowers? Might the health care bill, whenever it’s finished, contain a provision that widens the scope of Medicare-relate qui tam whistleblower lawsuits? (Forbes.com)

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