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Friday morning docket: Let it snow!

Washington is a little quieter this Friday. The Supreme Court has already recessed for the holidays, as have House lawmakers. Members of the Senate are still in town, though, and they are scheduled to work through the weekend – despite a snowy forecast – to try to make progress on the health care bill and pass a military spending plan.

So before you rush off to the grocery store to stock up on milk before hunkering down for the snowstorm (Washingtonians seem to do that a lot, something that puzzles DC Dicta, who is from Michigan by way of Massachusetts), let’s take a look at the news:

Lawyers of the Year! It’s that time again! Lawyers USA has unveiled its list of lawyers whose work made a significant impact on the law during the year just past. And the list has a few names familiar to those inside the Beltway. Check out the list here. (Lawyers USA)

Capital sentences waning…: There were fewer death penalty sentences handed down in 2009 than in any other year since the Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976. (CNN)

…but executions on the rise: In a strange corollary, more death row convicts were executed in the United States this year than last. (The New York Times).

Backlog backlash: Witnesses, including a victim of rape, urged Congress to do something about the backlog of untested rape kits nationwide. (CBS News)

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