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Monday status conference: A matter of opinion

This week the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its first full opinion(s) of the October 2009 term. Those opinions are expected to come tomorrow.

So far, the Court has only released a handful of per curiam rulings, but tomorrow’s opinions will come in one or more of the cases that have been argued before the bench. As always, the Court gives no indication of which opinions it will issue beforehand, but we’ll catch you up on what the Court does tomorrow. It’s also oral argument week at the Court, which takes up cases involving Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the right to counsel today.

Meanwhile, it was a busy weekend here in Washington, where members of the Senate worked all weekend in hopes of coming to agreement on a health care package to send to a final vote before the holiday break. President Obama even dropped by Capitol Hill Sunday to give lawmakers an extra pep talk as they continue to work to negotiate the language of the bill. The Senate continues debate today, tackling on the thorny issue of abortion.

In other news:

IP VIP: The Senate has confirmed Victoria Espinel, President Obama’s choice to be the nation’s first-ever intellectual property czar. (ABA Journal)

Girlfriend defense: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus defended recommending his girlfriend for appointment as Montana’s U.S. attorney, which we eventually withdrew. (AP)

Votes on gay rights bills near: The House is poised to pass bills to provide health coverage for the same-sex partners of gay federal workers and to protect all gay and transgender employees from job discrimination, lawmakers say. (AP)

Legal aid waning: Just when it is needed most, funding for legal aid plummets. (Washington Post)

No longer President Popular: Obama’s popularity numbers fall as some criticize him for taking on too much at once. (New York Times)

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