Washington State Budget
The House and Senate have reached an agreement on revenue. On Saturday, the House voted 52-44 for a revenue package that includes taxes on mass-market beer, soda, candy, and bottled water. The Senate is expected to take up the measure today.
Both chambers have also come to an agreement on the budget, meaning the special session could end tonight.
Supreme Court Watch
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, predicts that the Senate will confirm the replacement for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens this summer, in time for the court’s fall term.
Meanwhile, Republicans are considering the potential political advantages and disadvantages to a fight over the nominee.
Republicans have not ruled out the possibility of a filibuster, in the event that the nominee is deemed to be outside of the “mainstream.”
NPR’s “Weekend Edition” looks at Justice Stevens’ legacy and possible nominees.
Syndicated columnist Ruth Marcus predicts that with the retirement of Justice Stevens, the court is likely to shift to the right.
Former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse comments that Justice Stevens’ retirement marks the end of an era in which Supreme Court justices could learn and change on the job and were not expected to conform to strict ideological standards.
Other News of Note
Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination to head the Office of Legal Counsel languished for over a year due in part because conservatives found her former employment by NARAL Pro-Choice America “controversial,” has withdrawn her name from consideration for the post.