Why? Sadly, I must admit I've not been following this all that closely. Has any reason for the recusal been offered other than the fact the judge is a Democrat? If that's the only reason for recusal it seems pretty weak.
They say he should recuse himself because he donated to the liberal organization Moveon.org during the 2004 election. They also argue that Moveon.org today is not only anti-DeLay, but has been selling T-shirts with his mugshot.This is inaccurate. Moveon.org has not been selling such T-shirts although, of course, it is anti-DeLay.I admit I'm liberal, but I'm also big on the rights of criminal defendants. We cannot have judges being forced to recuse themselves over personal, private, legal political donations. It might have been unseemly if the judge made the donation recently, but this was a year ago during a presidential election. Judges are allowed to have political affiliations.
I love this argument. If I'm ever busted, I'm sure I can find out that the judge is anti-me, because he involved himself in politics in some way.Of course, I'm not Delay, so I'm not above the law.I'm sure we'll see this pushed - Ronnie is a Democrat, of of course this is just politically motivated. How much do those Senate pins cost?
It doesn't sound like the motion for recusal should be granted.From what little I have followed about this, it does not seem the prosecutor is doing this because he is of a particular party. It seems more like he is on a personal crusade to clean up what he thinks is dirty about political finance and is willing to go after big-wigs from either party. Although, I've also been left with the impression that he hasn't been very succesful.
There is no reason why the judge should recuse himself. Does the prosecutor get to recuse every republican judge because he donated to the RNC? No. If the judge had donated to a "Get Tom DeLay" fund or something, that would be different. But, on its face, I just don't see any grounds for recusal.I also don't really see any grounds for a venue change. This has been national news, not just Austin news. So what if Austin is a more liberal county than a lot of other Texas counties? I'm sure a lot of capital murder defendants facing the death penalty would like to have their cases moved out of Harris County because the community is so in favor of the death penalty. But, it doesn't work that way. You have to show that you can't get a fair trial because of pre-trial publicity, and it is not an easy showing to make. At the very least, they could try to conduct voir dire (if it even gets that far), and see how the jury selection goes before changing the venue.
Donating to Moveon.org is NOT the same as donating to the RNC or the DNC. It is an EXTRERELY partisan left wing organization, and has made Delay one of its prime targets. Supoose the Defendant was Hillary Clinton, and that the judge assigned had donated money to money to the Eagle Forum. It would appear that the judge was not only politcally an R -- which is fine, judges belong to political parties, like many of us do -- but also that the judge was a partisan of a particular strain likely ot be predisposed against the defendant. I'd say recusal would be necessary there, as well. Oh, and Anonymous -- if you find out your judge is anti-you, yeah, you're entitled to a recusal. Score this one for The Hammer.
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