Friday, November 04, 2005

Judge Shopping

I'm of two minds of the judge swapping going on in the DeLay trial to be.

Firstly, I was a little surprised and upset at the reasoning behind the original removal - the judge had given to This was supposed to show a bias against DeLay. Well, for one, a person can give to a group for many reasons. For example, I may contribute to the ACLU for their efforts against IDiocy, yet still condemn them for other acts they do. Even ignoring this idea, how is it that a contribution is evidence of bias, yet duck hunting with a defendant in a case isn't? If "Social contacts with high-level executive officials (including Cabinet members) have never been thought improper for judges who may have before them cases in which those people are involved in their official capacity, as opposed to their personal capacity," as Scalia said in that case, how come a impersonal monetary donation IS improper? Or maybe comments from a Supreme Court judge that showed clear bias in Bush v. Gore, and Scalia's mentioning he would like to be Chief Justice and that could only happen under a Republican President, or Scalia's sons working for law firms that represented Bush, or Justice Thomas's wife e-mailing people telling them to send resumes to the Heritage Foundation for assistance of consideration for positions in the next Presidency AS Bush V. Gore was being decided? I would argue strenuously that any of these show clear bias much more so that a blanket contribution to an organization - perhaps not enough for recusal, but enough where it should have been noted and brought out and proven not to be too influencing. Had the MoveOn contribution been earmarked specifically for anti-DeLay campaigns, okay, yes. But it wasn't. Somehow, this act is more egregious in bias than any of the ones mentioned above. The back-and-forth that's developed now between the defense and the prosecution is silly in the extreme - it's a judge/jury of your peers, not one of your ideological clones.

But on the other hand, now if DeLay is convicted, it will be very interesting to see him scream about bias (which you KNOW he will). One less plank for the martyr to dance on. That's to the good.

I can't wait for some Democrat to try this maneuver and the Republicans to scream. Rest assured, both cases WILL happen. Probably sooner rather than later.

(As a side note, I still feel Bush v. Gore was a horrible decision, but I would feel the same way if it had been Gore v. Bush. For one case and one case only, standards were seen to be overridingly important - yet the second the gavel fell, no lasting effect was had. It was a one-time-only case involving something used in many other states (hand counting and no set state standards), yet only in Florida was it seen to be bad - and again, only for 2000. If it was so bad, why wasn't a standard demanded in all states, much less in Florida?)

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