November 03, 2005
The first thing for the new judge to do

When we get a new judge for the DeLay money laundering trial, he or she should deal with this in all due haste.

Retired District Judge C.W. "Bud" Duncan Jr., a Democrat, removed [Travis County Judge Bob] Perkins from the case Tuesday. Administrative Judge B.B. Schraub, a Republican, plans to choose Perkins' replacement this week.

Schraub told the Associated Press that he will pick from a field of retired judges outside Travis County, where DeLay was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme.

"I'm going to try to do it this week if I can find a judge (who) has the characteristics we're looking for and will do it," said Schraub. He did not specify what those characteristics were.

Getting Perkins removed from the case was a major victory for DeLay because Perkins already had upheld earlier indictments that were returned against DeLay's co-defendants: John Colyandro and Jim Ellis. A new judge will give DeLay's defense an opportunity to challenge the indictments before a fresh eye.

The new judge also will take up motions to move the case out of highly Democratic Travis County.

DeLay's lawyers did not argue that Perkins would be unfair, only that his political donations would give the appearance of bias to average citizens.

The first thing that Judge 2.0 should do is to rule that all of Judge Perkins' original rulings will stand as they are. I mean, if even Dick DeGuerin is admitting that public perceptions and not Perkins' fairness was at issue, then it follows that what he has done up to this point has been fair. The appellate court can settle the question of correctness later on, as it is their role to do. Let's help Tom DeLay get his wish for a speedy trial by ensuring that we don't waste time reconsidering settled questions.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 03, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack