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FYI: In his annual New Year’s Day report to Congress, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist attacked a law passed last spring that seeks to limit federal judges’ ability to depart from sentencing guidelines. Congress passed the law, dubbed the Feeney Amendment, in April, increasing the amount of documentation and reporting requirements for judges when they hand out sentences that are more lenient than those in the sentencing guidelines. Courts must now also submit data on individual judges’ sentencing departures to Congress. According to a Legal Times report, Rehnquist wrote that the law “could appear to be an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate individual judges in the performance of their judicial duties.” [1/7/04]

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