August 25, 2008
Another loss in court for DeLay's cronies

Yes, the appeals process in the matter of the indictments against Tom DeLay and his cohorts Jim Ellis and John Colyandro are still ongoing. And yes, the defendants keep on losing.

An appeals court has upheld money-laundering indictments against two of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political associates, finding that the Texas law is not unconstitutional vague or overbroad.

"The challenged statutes give constitutionally adequate notice of the conduct prohibited and sufficiently determine guidelines for law enforcement," said Third Court of Appeals Justice Alan Waldrop in a 46-page opinion issued late Friday.

The ruling was handed down exactly two years from the date the case was argued. The three judges on the panel that heard the case are all Republicans.

You can read the opinion here. This is the "checks aren't cash" appeal, for which DeLay himself is not a party. As long as it remains unresolved, however, the joint trial of DeLay, Colyandro, Ellis, and Warren RoBold (assuming he hasn't turned state's evidence) will remain on hold. I fully expect this will be appealed one more time, to the Court of Criminal Appeals. That almost surely means that Ronnie Earle will be retired when (if) the case finally comes up on the calendar. Which means I may need a ruling from one of these judges as to the disposition of my wager with Anti-Corruption Republican. Do I still win if the case goes to trial but someone other than Ronnie Earle is at the helm? You'd think so, but then we're still arguing about whether checks are materially different from cash in the law, so I wouldn't want to take anything for granted.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2008 to Scandalized!


My understanding of the spirit of our wager was this:

MY POSITION: The state charges against Tom DeLay were weak and politically inspired.

YOUR POSITION: The state charges against Tom DeLay were serious ones brought in good faith.

Given the spirit of our wager, the fact that Ronnie Earle has retired is immaterial. If Tom DeLay pleads guilty -or- the Travis County DA presents a case in court (regardless of the verdict) you win.

Of course, I think you goaded me on to your site to make the observation that Tom DeLay still faces serious legal jeopardy in the federal investigation regarding the Jack Abramoff corruption. We'll probably be on the same side lamenting that DeLay didn't get enough prison time when that case is over. We'll also probably weigh the evidence against DeLay's wife, Christine, and daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro, to see if they deserve criminal scrutiny.

But back to our bet on the state money laundering charges. I'd like to provide you incentive to acknowledge the inevitable right away. If you concede now, I promise I won't order an import.

Posted by: Anti-Corruption Republican on August 25, 2008 8:13 PM

Never give up, never surrender, I say. That's the great thing about betting a beer - even if you lose, you still get to drink a beer. :-)

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2008 8:31 PM
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