Friday, November 04, 2005

Delay and Impartial Judges

Tom Delay managed to get assigned a different judge to oversee his case (he was indicted on charges of money laundering as a means to get around campaign finance laws; I hope I have that right.) The basis for removing the original judge was that he was a Democrat, and so was likely to be prejudiced against Delay.

There is something wrong with this picture. In our country, just about every politician (and judges are often elected officials, so they are politicians as well) is either a Democrat or a Republican. It can't possibly work to require that a judge be political neutral before he can preside over a trial involving a politician accused of wrongdoing. It seems to me that it makes more sense not to prejudge, but instead wait until there is actual evidence of prejudicial treatment on the basis of political party. At that point, the defendant can ask for a new trial or appeal to a higher court.

As a country, we have become completely disfunctional if it is impossible to expect justice from people of the opposite political party. Have we reached that point?


Blogger Kyle McCullough said...

Yeah, they got the judge on a JWD, judging while Democrat.

The original judge was a Democrat and active with Democratic causes (he gave about $200 to Move On), but he had no connection to DeLay. Both the judge who had him removed and the one who appointed his replacement, on the other hand, had very direct ties to DeLay--and in fact were in his debt.

Has anyone else noticed how virtually all of the special prosecutors appointed over the past 25 years (Fitzgerald, Starr, Walsh, Ray...), as well as the judges handling the cases, have been Republicans?

8:11 PM  

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