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Sunday Reading

Digby says go here. For more reasons, go here and here.

This article on Rep. James Sensenbrenner by Maurice Possley in the Chicago Tribune is a must. Sensenbrenner is rapidly becoming Public Enemy Number One.

In an extraordinary move, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee privately demanded last month that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago change its decision in a narcotics case because he didn't believe a drug courier got a harsh enough prison term.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), in a five-page letter dated June 23 to Chief Judge Joel Flaum, asserted that a June 16 decision by a three-judge appeals court panel was wrong. He demanded "a prompt response" as to what steps Flaum would take "to rectify the panel's actions" in a case where a drug courier in a Chicago police corruption case received a 97-month prison sentence instead of the at least 120 months required by a drug-conspiracy statute.

Sensenbrenner is behind the "five years for a joint" and "snitch or go to jail" bill pending in Congress. As TChris wrote, it's time to "just say no" to Sensenbrenner.

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  • Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#1)
    by jackl2400 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    As hinted at in the linked Chicago Tribune article, the defendant's attorney and perhaps some other orgs like the ACLU, etc. need to file an ethical complaint against David Apperson, the attorney on Sensenbrenner's congressional committee who filed the totally inappropriate and ex parte papers. Since when can some congressional committee just intervene in a pending criminal case? That lawyer needs to be slapped hard...he should know better!

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#2)
    by skippybkroo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    thanks, talkleft! you da bomb!

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#3)
    by LibbySpencer on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    I'm somewhere between sputtering with outrage and stunned with disbelief. Am I still in America? Getting so I don't recognize this place anymore. Libby

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    What did he think the judge could do? Withdraw the mandate? Lobby the other judges to review en banc? Talk about mental - I'm sure the judge was knocked on his @ss by that letter -- waay, waay beyond inappropriate...

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#5)
    by veloer on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    Winsconsin, Sensenbrenner, Mosquitos. Just how does the University at Madison figure in? I just do not see how Sensenbrenner managed to get elected.

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:03 PM EST
    JackL: That's Jay Apperson (also behind the Feeney Amendment and other outrages), not "David" Apperson. Where I gasped so hard I almost passed out was where Apperson is quoted as saying that since his boss's committee has "oversight" responsibility over the federal court system, it is perfectly appropriate for any Congressman on the committee to demand that the decision in a particular court case be changed. Apparently he's never heard of the separation of powers or that an independent judiciary, freed by life tenure from the pressures of politics, is an essential guardian of the people's liberties. (Nor does he know, I'm sure, of the decisions in 8 of the 12 federal appellate circuits, with none to the contrary, which say that defendant's sentence was legal, not illegal. Nor would that stop Judge Easterbrook, author of the decision at issue, who also knows better than the lawyers in any case before him [just ask him] how to rule on questions not presented, from opining without seeking briefs from the parties that the sentence was illegal.) Know your enemy.

    Re: Sunday Reading (none / 0) (#7)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:04 PM EST
    Veloer, Sensenbrenner's district contains a lot of upper middle class and upper class neighborhoods north of Milwaukee. Definitely investor class neocon country. Lots of folks of german descent, sometimes inadvertently revealing a bit of nostalgia for the old Fatherland, if you know what I mean. Mad City is an hour west, and in another district. I know. I grew up there. And Henry Hyde lived two doors down from us.