In 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.
In 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.