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Monday status conference: Last quiet days

Washington will remain largely quiet this week as members of Congress and justices of the Supreme Court are out for the last full week of recess before returning after Labor Day. Many lawmakers, as well as President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, spent part of this past weekend in Boston to attend the funeral of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

The president returned to Washington from Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, but will take a few more days of repose at Camp David starting Wednesday. Everyone should rest while they can: next week brings the return of wrangling over health care reform and Supreme Court oral arguments in a held-over campaign finance case.

Meanwhile,

New border search rules: Responding to concerns that federal law enforcement officials have been poking through travelers’ personal electronic data, the Obama administration has tightened restrictions on laptop searches at border crossings. (Lawyers USA)

Rolling violations: A new report by the American Association for Justice shows that 28,000 motor carrier companies, operating more the 200,000 trucks on American roadways, have violated federal safety regulations. (Lawyers USA)

Chrysler challenge dropped: The Supreme Court has dismissed the challenge to the bankruptcy sale of Chrysler to Fiat after the company agreed to accept liability by cars made by the pre-bankruptcy Chrysler. (SCOTUSblog)

Solons suggests spouse: Some lawmakers are suggesting that the late Sen. Kennedy’s seat be taken by his widow, Vicki, even though she has said she isn’t interested. (AFP)

Religious wrong? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was reportedly miffed by a law professor who questioned whether the justice’s decisions were influenced by his Catholic faith. (HuffPo via ABA Journal)

The church calls: In an unrelated twist, a Connecticut Roman Catholic diocese is appealing to Scalia to stay the release of documents generated by lawsuits against priests for alleged sexual abuse. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg already denied a request to keep the documents sealed, but the diocese wants a second opinion from Scalia. (AP)

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