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US appellate court rejects DoJ motion

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The US Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a US Department of Justice (DoJ) motion to dismiss Microsoft's desired stay of Judge Jackson's order to split the company.

On Friday, the Department argued that Microsoft skirted judicial procedures by asking the appellate court to stay Judge Jackson's remedies before he had ruled on their request.

The appellate court disagreed, but noted that if Jackson should refer the case directly to the Supreme Court, it would of course step aside.

The DoJ is not entirely disappointed in the ruling, and still entertains hopes of sending the case directly to the US Supreme Court for review. "We're very pleased with the court's ruling that it would stay further proceedings if the district court certifies the case for direct appeal to the Supreme Court," Department representative Gina Talamona said in a statement.

Microsoft will no doubt find in it a vindication of their own position as well. The company has long maintained that it got a raw deal at trial; and while the appellate court is not saying that it agrees, it is certainly saying that the question deserves examination.

This sets up an interesting tension between Judge Jackson and the Court of Appeals, which Microsoft flacks can exploit. Assuming that the SC will condescend to hear the case, then if Jackson does send it directly upstairs, effectively pulling the rug out from under the appellate court, we can expect to hear more about the denial of due process which the company has constantly claimed. ®

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