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Texas: Judge refuses quick trial for DeLay

Bloomberg reports: The Texas judge hearing a campaign- finance abuse case against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said he won't yet rule on one of DeLay's motions, dealing a setback to the lawmaker's bid for a quick resolution of the case.

After being indicted in his home state of Texas, DeLay was forced by Republican rules to step down from his leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives. He denied wrongdoing and sought a quick trial so that he can have the chance to reclaim his majority leader position.

DeLay's lawyers asked Judge Pat Priest to split up the charges facing their client and proceed to trial on a count of money laundering as soon as possible. Priest, in an e-mail sent to reporters today, said he's decided that he won't rule on that request until an appeals court has reviewed a challenge by prosecutors to one of his earlier rulings.

``The law directs the Court of Appeals to give precedence'' to this type of appeal by prosecutors, Priest said. He said he was confident that the appeals court would act with ``with all reasonable dispatch.''

DeLay's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said his team will work through the weekend to come up with a response. ``This fight's not over yet,'' DeGuerin said. -- Bloomberg.com: Top Worldwide

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