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The quoted indictment of the tedious proceedings in Leyra v. Denno is part of a long memorandum submitted by Ralph Moody, Assistant Attorney General of North Carolina, to the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives on June 24, 1955. Mr. Moody submitted the memorandum on behalf of the National Association of Attorneys General in support of a then pending bill designed to curtail the jurisdiction of federal courts to inquire, on habeas corpus, into the propriety of state court criminal convictions. The specific legislative proposal, H.R. 5649, passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate Judiciary Committee when the Eighty-fourth Congress, on July 27, 1956, adjourned sine die. But the problem troubling Mr. Moody and his colleagues did not die with the bill. In all likelihood the next Congress will be confronted with similar legislation. Mr. Moody's quarrel with the existing latitude of federal habeas corpus poses issues demanding the devoted attention of those concerned with the smooth functioning of the federal system. Yet the issues are not new–they are as old as the Constitution.
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