October 25, 2005
Judge to judge judge selected

Judge B.B. Schraub has named retired Judge C.W. Duncan to determine if Judge Bob Perkins is fit to judge Tom DeLay. Got all that?

Duncan, a senior district judge from Bell County who sometimes continues to serve as a visiting judge, will hear DeLay's complaint that Perkins, a Democrat, should step aside because he donated $400 to the Democratic National Committee and $310 to the Texas Democratic Party after DeLay's co-defendants were first indicted last fall. He has also given money to other Democratic groups in recent years.

A hearing on the matter will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 1 in the 331st District Court in Austin.


Last week DeLay's lawyers urged Perkins to step aside as well. Perkins asked B.B. Schraub, the presiding judge of the 3rd Administrative Judicial District, to settle the issue. Schraub, a Seguin Republican, also had given money to Republican candidates. On Monday, he tapped Duncan, a member of a longtime Bell County family, who apparently has a reputation for being nonpolitical.

"I don't remember him ever being very political," said Nancy Boston of the Bell County Republican Party.

Write that down for when Team DeLay begins its next slime campaign.

On the Karmic Balance scale, DeLay's desire to challenge every little thing in court is apparently conflicting with his desire to hold onto his power in the House.

DeLay and his attorneys are faced with a dilemma. The former majority leader needs to win the case quickly to get his job back, while his lawyers need to do everything they can - which includes filing motions that could potentially slow the case - to acquit their client.


The number of pretrial motions filed in the case is consistent with the number of pretrial motions filed in other big cases, according to legal experts in Texas. Whether they slow the eventual case is up to the individual judge who rules on them, though.

"If these [motions] are going to be seriously pursued there is a lot to be resolved," said George Dix, a law professor at the University of Texas who has written a six-volume series on criminal procedure in that state.

Of the motions already filed in this case, DeGuerin's challenge of the grand jury process - in particular, his charge that Earle coerced a ruling from jurors during one of the closed-door hearings - could take the most time to resolve, Dix said, because it is a significant procedural question that could require its own separate trial.


"I'd be very surprised to see this case go to trial before December," said Joe Turner, Colyandro's Austin-based attorney, who attended the hearing on Friday.

Colyandro and Ellis, of course, are pursuing a different time-consuming scheme, which is a challenge to the constitutionality of the law under which they were arrested. They've already lost one round, but appeals are underway and the final destination, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is likely months in the future.

And finally, here's the best photoshopped DeLay mug shot I've seen yet. It's not quite a 10 - add a pack of smokes rolled up in his shirtsleeve and it might get there - but it's at least a 9.5. Well done.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 25, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack