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Byline: David L. Wilson
Aug. 16--The government Tuesday delicately informed the U.S. Supreme Court that the nine justices are effectively required to hear the appeal of the Microsoft Corp. antitrust trial on a fast track.
Until 1974, all federal antitrust cases went directly to the Supreme Court on appeal; in that year, such accelerated reviews became the exception, rather than the rule, provided that the justices agree to hear the case. But the government claims that the Supreme Court has little choice in the current matter.
"Congress relieved the court of the task of reviewing routine antitrust appeals," the government argued in its brief, "but Congress concluded, as a matter of national policy, that the court should continue to decide direct appeals `where the …