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House Judiciary chair accused of ethics violation

[JURIST] Washington-based Alliance for Justice [advocacy website] has urged an investigation of Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) [official website], chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, claiming he violated ethics rules by trying to influence an appeals court decision in Chicago. Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, made the request in a letter dated Wednesday [PDF text] to the Chairman of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct [official website], Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) [official website]. Sensenbrenner sent a letter in June to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago asking that a jail term for a drug courier be increased. General rules of litigation prohibit contacting judges on a case without also notifying all parties and the letter was not sent to the lawyer for the drug runner. Hastings has yet to respond to the letter. The Appleton Wisconsin Post-Crescent has more.

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