By David Gura

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Joseph Peter "J.P." Stadtmueller, a federal judge in Milwaukee, "has stopped taking new criminal cases and is passing off cases he already had in a move legal experts are calling highly unusual and perhaps unprecedented nationally." He hasn't taken a new criminal case since July 22, and Stadtmueller has recused himself from at least six pending cases.

Why? Stadtmueller has not issued a written explanation, and legal experts are perplexed.

According to the Journal Sentinel, in the past, the judge has said he has been concerned "about the kind of cases coming into federal court. Because of congressional changes, federal court has shifted from mostly complex white-collar and organized crime to more low-level drug, gun and child pornography cases."

categories: Justice

10:51 - August 24, 2009