Former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey waits to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington on May 15, 2007. NPR has learned that Comey is in line to become President Obama's choice as the next FBI director. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has proposed cutting three seats from a key D.C. appeals court. Cliff Owen/AP hide caption

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Nearly 30 years ago, Congress gave terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out, known as compassionate release. hide caption

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David Rainey, a former BP vice president during the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, leaves federal court after being arraigned on obstruction of a federal investigation in New Orleans on Nov. 28, 2012. A federal judge Monday dismissed the charge that Rainey obstructed a congressional investigation into the 2010 spill. Matthew Hinton/AP hide caption

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The screen on the phone console at the reception desk at The Associated Press Washington bureau. Jon Elswick/AP hide caption

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