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July 28, 2005

Alliance for Justice urges ethics investigation over Sensenbrenner letters

Thanks to this post at How Appealing, I see that the Alliance for Justice has sent this letter urging an ethics investigation into the actions of House Judiciary Chair James Sensenbrenner relating to the letter he sent to the Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit criticizing that court's decision in US v. Rivera (background here, commentary here and here and collected here).  Here are snippets:

From the facts at hand, it appears that the Chairman may have violated the ethical rules of the House of Representatives.  Accordingly, I urge the committee to open an investigation to determine whether or not such rules have been violated....

[I]t is clear that, through the letter, the Chairman "attempt[ed] to influence the outcome of a pending case."  Indeed, he specifically asked the court to increase the defendant's sentence.  Yet in so doing, the Chairman did not avail himself of the designated "options" for conveying the "relevant information" he believed he had.  The Chairman did not provide the information to any counsel in the proceeding without notifying the court directly, did not file an amicus brief, and did not seek to intervene or make public statements in the House. Instead, by writing to the judge, the Chairman elected the one option considered unethical.

UPDATEThis newspaper story discusses this letter and provides more background on the entire Sensenbrenner flap.

July 28, 2005 at 03:40 PM | Permalink

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