So the hearing by the 3rd Court of Appeals on whether or not to reinstate one of the indictments against Tom DeLay was yesterday. The ruling will take some time, and the trial is still too far off on the horizon to make it out.
The court heard an appeal that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle brought contesting Priest's December decision to throw out two criminal charges against DeLay. Priest let stand money laundering charges against DeLay.
Earle's appeal of Priest's ruling brought DeLay's trial to a halt, and before Wednesday's hearing, 107 days had passed without action.
The appeals court typically rules six to eight weeks after holding a hearing. If DeLay wins this decision, Earle is expected to appeal the case to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
DeGuerin said he was not asking the court for preferential treatment. He said DeLay, who was not at Wednesday's hearing, just needs to get the case resolved before the general election in November.
"It's a plea for prompt disposition, which has been our cry all along," DeGuerin said. "We want to get this case tried, and when we get it tried, we're going to win."
Be that as it may, if we split the difference and assume seven weeks for the 3rd Court's ruling, that puts us in mid-May. Assuming they uphold Judge Priest and the timeline is the same for the next round, it's another three months for the CCA to hear that appeal and another seven weeks for that ruling, which puts us in mid-October. That would pretty much guarantee that the trial wouldn't happen until after Election Day.
DeLay has said that if the matter is still unresolved by then, he expects Earle will drop the charges. Since the only defense Earle will ultimately have against the argument that this pursuit was politically motivated from the start is to secure convictions, I seriously doubt that will happen. Unless Ellis and Colyandro get a favorable ruling on their appeal that they didn't actually break the law, which would torpedo the basis of the charges against DeLay as well, I expect this to go to trial some day. I don't know when that day may be, but I believe it will happen.Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 23, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack