Microsoft seeks Supreme Court

  08/07/2001 9:30:03 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

Just in time before August 12th, Microsoft asks for a Supreme Court ruling.
  The schedule for the Microsoft Antitrust case being sent back to a lower court was August 12th. Microsoft is now seeking directly the Supreme Court to review the case.

  In the June 28 appeals court ruling, the appeals court upheld Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's findings that Microsoft was a predatory monopolist that had illegally squashed competition. The court however threw out Jackson's proposed remedy splitting the company in half while ordering a new district judge to revisit the issue.

  On Tuesday August 7th, Microsoft asked the Supreme Court to throw out Jackson's rulings in their entirety, including the damaging monopoly finding, because the judge had spoken to reporters while the case was ongoing. The company also asked the appeals court to postpone further lower-court proceedings until the Supreme Court either declined the case or issued a ruling a likely delay of months to a year or more. Delays should place Microsoft well past their release date of October 25th of Windows XP.

  The appeals court did remove Jackson from future proceedings, saying he had created an appearance of bias by talking to reporters from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets during the trial. However, the appeals court said it found no evidence of actual bias and did not throw out the judge's factual and legal findings. This is where Microsoft intends to argue, that Jackson was indeed bias speaking to reporters about the case well before Jackson ruled on it.

  In the Microsoft petition for review, Microsoft argued that Jackson's conduct in such a high-profile case could undermine the public's view of the entire legal system. "The court's immediate review of the disqualification issue is also necessary to protect public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary," the company wrote.

  The Justice Department issued a short statement saying that the appeals court had already reviewed the bias issue, promising to "respond promptly" to Microsoft's plea.

  In its brief to the Supreme Court, Microsoft said it also might appeal other portions of the case to the high court, but probably not until the lower courts completed reconsidering the remaining issues.

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