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Hoping to avoid any signs of a conflict of interest, the chief judge in the Northern District of Illinois last week reassigned dozens of cases on Judge Mark Filip’s docket after Filip’s nomination to become the next deputy attorney general. President George W. Bush appointed Filip, 41, on Nov. 15, along with four others to fill key vacancies at the Justice Department. In his order, Chief Judge James Holderman redistributed Filip’s 63 cases involving the federal government as a plaintiff or a defendant to 19 other judges. Holderman wrote that Filip “should not preside over criminal cases or civil cases in which the United States is a party while his nomination is pending.” Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, says Holderman’s move offers transparency and fairness. “It seems to me that it’s done out of an abundance of caution,” Tobias says. “I think it bolsters confidence in the justice system.”
Pedro Ruz Gutierrez can be contacted at [email protected].

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