It’s mostly quiet on the Washington front on Monday.
President Barack Obama will designate five new national monuments, using executive authority to protect historic or ecologically significant sites.
The sites are Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico; First State National Monument in Delaware; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland; Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio; and San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington state.
Federal regulators will press the Supreme Court to stop pharmaceutical corporations from paying generic drug competitors to delay releasing their cheaper versions of brand-name drugs. They will argue these deals deny American consumers steep price declines.
The pharmaceutical companies counter that they need to preserve longer the billions of dollars in revenue from their patented products in order to recover the billions they spend developing new drugs.
And then there is this: The big news in Washington will come Tuesday and Wednesday when the Supreme Court hears gay marriage cases.
On Tuesday morning, the nine justices will consider whether California’s voter approved ban on gay marriage, Proposition 8, unfairly discriminates against gay people. On Wednesday, they’ll consider whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act barring the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even in states that allow them, constitutes federal overreach.