Dispatch from the Front: The Week of April 25

Congress is still on recess, and the President meets with leaders including an Arab potentate, Central American president and Oprah. The U.S. Supreme Court hears final oral arguments for the term, including a key case on corporate “data mining,” and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke holds the first-ever briefing with reporters on Wednesday following the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting.

The House and Senate are in recess, returning next Monday, May 2.

On Tuesday, President Obama welcomes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates to the White House. On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady travel to Chicago to tape an episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” The President then journeys to New York City for two DNC events. Panamanian President Martinelli visits the White House on Thursday. The First Family journeys to Cape Canaveral on Friday to view the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The President  then jaunts over to Miami to deliver the commencement address at Miami-Dade College.

Senate Hearings: On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a field hearing in Santa Fe, N.M., on the drought in New Mexico and SECURE Water Act reports on climate change’s effects on water resources.

Executive Branch: Today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivers remarks at an Aspen Institute College Excellence Program event in Washington to launch a competition to highlight top community colleges. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is at UC Berkeley today to deliver remarks, “Securing Cyberspace: Our Shared Responsibility.” (The White House have must poll-tested that term, “shared responsibility.”) Beginning Wednesday,  Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will lead a congressional delegation to South Korea to build support for the passage of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS).

Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments today on the Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton on whether the plaintiff in a securities action alleging a defendant’s fraud must prove the alleged fraud caused a drop in stock prices in order to get class certification. (Via Scotusblog) On Tuesday, the court hears Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc., a free-speech case the constitutionality of Vermont’s law barring pharmaceutical companies from using anonymous data collected by pharmacists for marketing purposes. The National Association of Manufacturers and Washington Legal Foundation have joined in an amicus brief in the case.

Economic Reports: From The New York Times, “Data will include new home sales for March (Monday); the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing price index for February and consumer confidence for April (Tuesday); durable goods orders for March (Wednesday); gross domestic product for the first quarter and initial jobless claims (Thursday); and personal income and spending for March and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April (Friday).” See also Neil Irwin’s weekly column for The Washington Post.

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