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Lamberth has many fans but Interior not one of them

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has many fans in the legal and political world: Republicans, lawyers, tribal members. He was a good friend of the late chief justice William H. Rehnquist.

But he hasn't won praise from the Interior Department, the defendant in the Cobell v. Norton trust fund lawsuit. After nine years of handling the case, during which he issued numerous stinging rulings against the government, the Bush administration has asked for his removal.

The request is highly unusual and rare. According to The Washington Post, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees the federal district court in Washington, has only removed three trial judges.

The issue will be raised as the D.C. Circuit hears two appeals in the case. On Friday, the court takes on the Bush administration's challenge to a structural injunction and historical accounting. Later, the court will hear the government's request to block Lamberth from holding contempt proceedings against former and current government officials.

Get the Story:
Straight Shooter to Some, Loose Cannon to Others (The Washington Post 9/15)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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