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Texas appeals court to hear DeLay request for speedy trial

[JURIST] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals [official website] has agreed to hear arguments regarding the request of US Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive] to speed up his money-laundering trial by either beginning the case immediately or dismissing the charges. Last week, an intermediate appellate court denied [JURIST report] DeLay's request to shorten the filing period of the government's appeal of his conspiracy acquittal from 20 to five days so that the money laundering trial may begin. Both Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website] and DeLay have one week to submit arguments before the 9 appellate judges, all of whom are Republicans. Because US House Republicans have a rule prohibiting anyone under indictment from actively holding a leadership role, DeLay hopes to be exonerated before leadership elections next month which could name a replacement for him as House Majority Leader, a post from which he has temporarily stepped down pending the result of the litigation. Bloomberg has more.

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