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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 03/26/2012

How do you prepare for Supreme Court oral arguments? (And other stories we’re reading)


The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)

The Supreme Court on Monday begins three days of unprecedented oral arguments as it reviews the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care reform law.

Several lawyers will make regular appearances before the High Court this week. So how do they prepare?

Paul D. Clement, who represents the 26 states suing the federal government over the reforms, told Monday’s New York Times that he usually scheduled two moot courts per argument. This time “he settled for five sessions for three arguments, one on every weekday last week — two at Georgetown, two at the National Association of Attorneys General and one at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” the article said.

“Lawyers in the solicitor general’s office also hold moot courts, though in a less grand setting.”

“‘It’s just the lunchroom, basically,’ said Neal K. Katyal, who was the acting solicitor general until last summer and who defended the health care law in federal appeals courts,” the Times article said. “‘There is probably not a room in Washington that looks less like the United States Supreme Court.’”

Legal experts, Supreme Court junkies and folks concerned about the future of health-care reform surely will be watching closely this week to see whether practice makes for a perfect argument.

Here’s a closer look at what we’re reading from news reports across Washington:

In budget battle, GOP regroups on Medicare message (by Rosalind S. Helderman and Paul Kane in The Washington Post): “Congressional Republicans recognize that the $3.5 trillion budget proposal the GOP-led House is expected to adopt this week remains fraught with political peril, but they also believe they now know how to blunt Democratic attacks on its Medicare overhaul components and should be able to avoid the political pummeling they suffered as a result last year.”

House leaders prep new GOP plan (by John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman in Politico): “Leaders will outline a ‘strategic plan’ to take the House GOP through Election Day, with items ranging from rewriting the corporate and individual Tax Code to overhauling federal regulations to changing U.S. energy policy.”

Once neighboring congressman, Iowans compete for same seat (by Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times): “Both men — three decades of service between them — are in the most difficult and highest-profile race of their parallel careers, clocking road miles and burning through cash like never before. In the past, they managed to sweep aside rivals easily. “

Ex-Giffords aide could face a primary in race for full term (by Josh Lederman in the Hill): “Four Democratic candidates said they still planned to run in the regular election in the fall for a full term.”

House Majority Whip McCarthy Will Back Romney (by Lara Seligman at National Journal): The third-ranking House Republican joins House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in his support of the former Massachusetts governor.

Sen. Mike Lee to endorse Romney (by Daniel Strauss at the Hill): He’s the last Utah Republican to endorse the GOP frontrunner.

Debate shifting from campaign trail back to Washington (by Michael D. Shear in the New York Times): There are at least five issues that will refocus attention back on politics in Washington.

Former Laura Richardson aide: I’d rather be at war in Afghanistan (by Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at Politico): “Brenda Cruz...wrote that Richardson and the senior staffer mistreated her during and after her pregnancy, forcing Cruz to conclude she had to leave the office for her own health and that of her child.”

Welch’s Past Support for Obama Haunts Him at GOP Debate (by Alex Roarty at National Journal): “Steve Welch was forced to acknowledge during a primary debate Saturday that his past support of Barack Obama was a “mistake,” a difficult moment for the suburban-Philadelphia businessman that laid bare his prime weakness in the Keystone State’s Republican primary.”

What did we miss? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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By  |  09:00 AM ET, 03/26/2012

 
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