Microsoft has again argued that its antitrust case appeal should not be heard first by the US Supreme Court but by the lower Court of Appeals.
The software giant filed a brief with the Supreme Court to that effect on Tuesday. It marks the latest stage in the efforts of the company and the prosecutors, the US Department of Justice (DoJ), to steer the appeal to the judges they prefer.
Last month, Microsoft wrote to the Supreme Court saying, in a nutshell, that the appeal was too time-consuming an issue to be dealt with at this stage by the highest court in the land.
The DoJ replied that the passage in the US Congress of an amendment to the Expediting Act demonstrated that this was just the sort of case that should go straight to the Supreme Court.
In its latest brief, Microsoft hit back at accusations from the DoJ that going first to the Court of Appeals would be wasting time. "The need for soundness in the result outweighs the need for speed in reaching it. The nation is entitled to the substantial value inherent in an immediate consideration of the issue by the Court of Appeals. Little time will be lost and none will be wasted in seeking it," wrote Microsoft's lawyers.
The Supreme Court will review the briefs in an upcoming conference and, according to Microsoft, will decide the "jurisdictional question" as to whether to hear Microsoft's appeal or send it back to the Court of Appeals as early as next month.
Whatever the decision, the actual appeal is not expected to be heard in either court before next spring.
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