Saturday, October 22, 2005

Good Statesman Editorial Today On DeLay

It's about how the hypocrisy, no surprise there, of the plan DeLay and his lawyer have of trying to get a new judge in the case, Tom DeLay can't have it both ways
DeLay wants the courts to move his trial from Travis County because of its history of supporting Democratic candidates; he complains that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, is prosecuting him for partisan reasons; and he wants state District Judge Bob Perkins of Austin, a Democrat who is hearing the case, to turn the case over to some other judge.


As for removing Perkins, the public should consider whether the court system ought to start dismissing every judge accused of partisan bias, even in the absence of any evidence of it.

Perkins has made some campaign contributions to various Democratic causes and candidates, the largest apparently being $1,000 to the Travis County Democratic Party. But such contributions are not exceptional among Texas judges, who run for office as party candidates.

Despite that, judges are expected to apply the law impartially, even (especially) to members of the other political party. If they don't, their rulings are subject to judicial appeal and their jobs to official discipline.

Nevertheless, DeLay argues that, given the political nature of his alleged crime of conspiring to launder political campaign donations, Perkins should not preside over his case. Perkins has referred the request to an administrative judge, B.B. Shraub, a Seguin Republican who was re-appointed to that post by another Republican, Gov. Rick Perry, in 2002.


DeLay wants it both ways: bring partisan warfare to the court, then complain there's partisan warfare in the court. The courts should not allow it to happen.
This is the same kind of ploy that Mr. DeGuerin used to get Kay Bailey Hutchison off and it shouldn't surprise anyone that he's going to the well again.


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