Home / The Scalia Precedent: Will Tom DeLay’s Judge Have To Step Aside?

The Scalia Precedent: Will Tom DeLay’s Judge Have To Step Aside?

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Alphaliberal.comIn a Texas courtroom yesterday, Tom DeLay’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said MoveOn.org has been selling a T-shirt showing Delay’s mugshot and since the judge, Bob Perkins, has donated money to the group, he asked the judge to recuse himself. The liberal political group denies it’s been selling T-shirts bearing the likeness of DeLay’s mug shot.

Judge Perkins replied that he’s neither seen nor bought such a T-shirt, and that the last time he contributed to MoveOn.org was before last year’s election, when they were mostly helping Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

Alphaliberal.comIn a statement, MoveOn.org says that DeLay’s lawyer “has either bad information or lied in court.” DeLay appeared in court for the first time today in connection with his indictment on conspiracy and money laundering charges. But his arraignment was postponed pending a hearing on his request for a new judge.

Lets analyze the request of DeLay’s attorney briefly. First, DeLay’s lawyer either lied to the court or is reckless with the facts he is presenting, both situations could land the attorney in ethical hot water. Secondly, the request is ludicrous. DeLay’s attorney will have us believe that because a judge is a Democrat he cannot remain on the case. Utterly ridiculous.

The judge is a Democrat, but it isn’t MoveOn.org that is being judged for a crime, its Tom DeLay. Remember the Antonin Scalia precedent? Scalia was seen duck hunting with Dick Cheney shortly before Cheney’s secret, energy task-force case came before the Supreme Court, and with Scalia’s help Cheney won.

Scalia refused to recuse himself and so should Tom DeLay’s judge. To insinuate that only a Republican judge can be used in DeLay’s criminal case or that this judge is unfit because he is a Democrat or contributed to a Democratic group is a serious perversion of the way the justice system works. The motion should be dismissed.

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  • http://www.walloworld.com BIll Wallo

    I agree that the request seems somewhat odd, especially based on what I’ve seen in the media. Somewhat ironically, Delay’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, is himself a Democrat, has donated to Democratic candidates, and is currently affiliated with Kinky Friedman’s 2006 Texas gubenatorial campaign.

    Let me ask you a question, however: do you believe that Scalia should have recused himself?

    One of the typical standards for recusal is the “appearance of impropriety,” which does not require a showing of actual bias but merely the impression that one could exist. There were many who argued that Scalia should have recused himself on exactly this ground.

    As for the judge here, one interesting point of reference is that at least in the federal system, the judicial code of ethics prohibits judges from donating to political campaigns or any organization involved in anything remotely associated with partisan politics. One reason for the rule is to avoid the type of situation here.

    I have absolutely no idea what the Texas canons of judicial ethics provides in regards to such donations; certainly I haven’t seen anything so far that indicates DeGuerin is suggesting the judge broke an ethical rule. I’m just saying that I do find it an interesting issue, and one that might deserve a bit more investigation.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    There is no circumstance under which a judge who donated to a virulent hate group like moveon.org should preside on a politically motivated trial like this. It’s completely outrageous. I actually find it hard to believe that a judge who wanted to have any kind of decent reputation would associate with moveon.org in the first place.


  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    It’s disingenuous to call moveon.org a hate group, Dave. Their campaigns aim to motivate like-minded people to vote, and in other ways to participate in the governance of their country’s affairs. They’ve been confrontational about it, but far less so than their opponents on the extreme right wing.

    I don’t agree with all of their views, nor with their choice of tactics, but I have never seen them do or say anything that would justify calling them “a virulent hate group.”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Victor, this is the group that has run the Bush is Hitler ads. Tell me that’s not hatemongering.


  • Alethinos

    I have to agree with you Dave. The Bush as Hitler thing went too far – giving far too much credit to Bush.

    MoveOn is doing what the Right already does. Stop yer bitchin’.


  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I never said there weren’t hatemongers on the right, though I’m not sure that even Delay fits in that category. But two wrongs don’t make a right, and nothing that’s been done by Bush or his supporters justifies the kind of divisive hate spewing that comes from Moveon.org and their many surrogates.


  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Comparing Bush to Hitler turned out to be a highly unsuccessful tactic in their attempt to defeat him at the polls, but that was all it was; an attempt to convince voters to support someone else.

    Actual hate groups do things like bomb churches and burn crosses on people’s lawns. Just running a political campaign ad devoid of taste doesn’t qualify Moveon.org for that category.

  • Mike Wallace

    You mean Bush isn’t the sane as Hitler?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Nice Freudian slip there, Mr. Wallace.

  • Alethinos

    Then Dave – if we AGREE that there are those on BOTH sides that are completely blinded by partisan politics then perhaps, just perhaps, we should begin finding ANOTHER way. Remember, a lot of the Founding Fathers never wanted to see party politics begin in this country. Now I don’t think we can be rid of it at this late date… But if there is enough outrage against business-as-usual than maybe we can make effective changes…


  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Policy based on hate rather than reason = hate group.

    And yes, Alethinos, I’ve said again and again that extremism on the right and the left is counterproductive.


  • Tom Lembke

    In our judicial system, isn’t Tom Delay innocent until proven guilty?
    So why is he attacking the judge unless he views the judicial system corrupt. It seems simple enough Tom, state the facts, tell the truth and no matter the judge, you will be proven innocent, correct?

  • Nancy

    Ha! The Pubs can dish it out, but they can’t take their own shit shovelled back at them. I will say to every rightie what they have been saying to those who voted against Bush: quitcher whining, get over it, and get a life!

    The moral of this is, don’t say/do ugly things, like the Republicans did, unless you’re fully prepared to get it thrown back in your own chops at first opportunity.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>In our judicial system, isn’t Tom Delay innocent until proven guilty?
    So why is he attacking the judge unless he views the judicial system corrupt. It seems simple enough Tom, state the facts, tell the truth and no matter the judge, you will be proven innocent, correct?<< He's been indicted in a partisan witchunt on pure speculation by a prosecutor known for going after Republicans without evidence to smear them politically. Then he finds himself going before a judge who contributed to the most offensive anti-Republican hate-PAC. Wouldn't you be a little concerned about basically being set-up and railroaded in the same circumstances? Dave

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Mike Wallace’s comment is hilariously on target. Most people know Hitler was insane (his brain ravaged by syphilis and god knows what else). Insanity is no excuse for ANY leader.

    Anyway, aren’t most judges also citizens? They have a right to belong to a political party, to contribute, to vote on Election Day. I don’t see how Mr. Delay has any grounds for this move to dismiss.

  • Alethinos

    Dave… If Tom D is innocent than he has nothing to fear. Me thinks he doth bitch too much though…


  • Cunning Linguist

    Funny how much coverage this Tom Delay incident is recieving in the main stream media when you consider there was just a trial for one of Hillary’s top aides concerning campaign finance fraud and the possibility that Hillary was involved and the main stream media never felt the need to mention it even once.

    No left wing bias in the mainstream media?


  • RogerMDillion

    Funny how the defense of the right always points out the wrongs on the left?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    In reality, the prosecutor who indicted DeLay is also known for going after Democrats whenever they’re the ones in power, and abusing their power.

    It’s only his recent record that makes him seem biased against Republicans to people who don’t look at his whole record, mostly because lately the Republicans have been the only ones in his jurisdiction with much power to abuse.

  • jibba jabba

    Feel free to rake DeLay over the coals.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Anyway, aren’t most judges also citizens? They have a right to belong to a political party, to contribute, to vote on Election Day. I don’t see how Mr. Delay has any grounds for this move to dismiss.<< Isn't the move to dismiss based on Ronnie Earle having no actual evidence? I believe there's a separate motion to get a different judge. He couldn't very well expect to get a dismissal based on a biased judge before the trial. But it does seem fair to get a new judge. Dave

  • RogerMDillion

    Delay’s own attorney DeGuerin has contributed to Democratic causes. 15,800 according to the Federal Election Commission as of 10/17/05.

    They are just making up excuses to avoid dealing with the facts of the case. If DeLay has them on the merits, they won’t waste time with this b.s.

  • RogerMDillion

    The judge donated $200 to MoveOn according to the Federal Election Commission as of 10/17/05. He doesn’t need a new judge. He’s just shopping for one he can influence.