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View Diary: Pat Priest, a judge with integrity, named to DeLay trial! [UPDATED] (161 comments)

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  •  Tom Delay's biggest nightmare.... (4.00)
    A fair and impartial judge

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 06:40:38 PM PST

    •  I want to ask Zarate: (none)
      How do you think Delay will react to this selection? Do you think the indictments against him will stand up in the courtroom if the precedings are fair? Do you have any insight about the prosecuting team?
      •  Answer (4.00)
        I think DeLay will react negatively until he gets a judge that is a simple-minded, knee-jerk kind of Republican.  This might cause some tension between DeLay and Deguerin because DeLay might want Deguerin to challenge a judge that has an impeccable reputation.  I know such a client would drive me bonkers.

        I haven't actually read the indictments, but if the proceedings are fair, there is no reason they shouldn't stand up.  His actions fit the statutes quite neatly.

        I don't know any of the prosecutors personally.  When I have practiced in Austin, I have dealt exclusively with misdemeanor prosecutors.

        •  You say "until" he gets a judge... (none)
          ...that is simple minded, et cetera.  Isn't the Priest appointment, like, the end of the story, unless Priest were to recuse himself?  I mean, I suppose, if DeLay is convicted, and he appeals, the Court of Criminal Appeals could theoretically throw out the conviction because Priest was biased, and then, the retrial would have to be in front of another judge.  But wouldn't Priest have to make some pretty seriously screwed up rulings during the course of the trial to bring even that strange outcome about?

          The Chimperor Has No Clothes

          by DC Pol Sci on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:03:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Practice In Texas -- Civil Law (none)
            Parties who are assigned visiting judges have an absolute right to object to a visiting judge, once. After that they are stuck with the second assignment. Unless it's different in criminal cases, DeLay can knock out Judge Priest with a simple motion objecting to him trying the case.

            This is risky business however. DeLay has already pissed off the Texas judiciary by smearing Perkins, and all other Texas judges by inference. If he impliedly smears Priest, and Jefferson, by objecting to Priest as well, it could go very, very bad for him. Jefferson is a Black jurist who is not an ideologue. He's a Republican because that's the only way to win a judgeship in most parts of the state, including on the Supreme Court. If he pushes too much, Jefferson could whack him.

            "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." Bush on Osama-3/13/02

            by chuco35 on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:17:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read upthread comment by Zarate... (none)
              ...who says this is apparently not the case in criminal matters in Texas.

              I certainly agree with you re:  pissing off the Chief Justice, though...

              The Chimperor Has No Clothes

              by DC Pol Sci on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:20:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is different, unfortunately... (none)
              Gawd, don't I wish I could reject some visiting judges.  You would figure that the rules would be more liberal when it involves someone's liberty than when it involves money.
              •  The fact that it's not... (none)
                ...is really a classic example of the way things are done in Texas, though, you have to admit.

                The Chimperor Has No Clothes

                by DC Pol Sci on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:32:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  In This Case, Though... (none)
                I'm fucking glad it's different. It means DeLay's goose is being cooked, with Priest about to be running the ingredients. You can bet they are partying in the Travis County DA's office. It's a good time to be on staff there.

                "I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." Bush on Osama-3/13/02

                by chuco35 on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:33:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's weird (none)
                you'd expect it to be the other way around.  That would be consistant w/ "reasonable doubt" and "preponderance of evidence" standards.  In that case it is harder to be convicted for a crime because you risk loosing your liberty.

                Its not easy being a Floridian.

                by lawstudent922 on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 10:02:45 AM PST

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          •  I would think so... (none)
            But I don't want to rule out the possibility that Judge Priest will be taken off the case.  Hell, we've gone through two judges already.  

            Proving a judge was biased through the appellate process is tough.  They have to abuse their discretion for a court to disturb their rulings.  Abuse of discretion is a difficult standard to defeat.

            •  Sorry for all the arcane questions... (none)
              I'm a displaced Texan (in Washington for the last 15 years) who didn't begin to study law until he left the Lone Star State, so I'm not up on the intricacies of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

              The Chimperor Has No Clothes

              by DC Pol Sci on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:22:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  FAIR--what a wonderful term (none)
          Zarate, how refreshing, wonderful, uplifting that you find this judge FAIR, honorable and the go-to-guy for knowledge/truth.  I hate Delay, think he's a slimymotherfucker, pretty much think he deserves keelhauling etc., but that's when I am sinking to his level.  I do/want to believe there are men of integrity in our judicial system, that $ isnt the be all--especially on the bench in your mystifying state (what is the deal with your system of governance?)  So, unlike wingnuts, all I want to hear is that this is a judge of integrity.  Then, I assume, he'll call them like he sees them--and that allows some obstructed views, but not an agenda based on myopia.
          •  The deal with the Texas system... (none)
            ...of governance is that they're still running on their post-Reconstruction constitution, which elects everything from governor down to justice of the peace, and for short terms.

            Because of the carpet-bagging yankees who came in after the Civil War and took over the government, the God-fearing white male voters of the great State of Texas put in this constitution, which is incredibly restrictive of government.

            It's so restrictive of government that when I left Texas in 1990, it had been amended over 200 times.  To give you an idea of just how restrictive that constitution is, some of the amendments were necessary to take such gargantuan, liberty-endangering steps as establishing a mosquito control district for a county on the Gulf Coast.

            How many amendments y'all up to these days?

            The Chimperor Has No Clothes

            by DC Pol Sci on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:48:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're no Alabama (none)
              they have 700 amendments for their 104 year old constitution

              "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

              by RBH on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 07:53:19 PM PST

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            •  The tradition started with the Republic (none)
              of Texas.

              Though the carpetbaggers forced a return to the system, the Republic of Texas had a notoriously short term election schedule and voted even for the mailman.

              Of course, back then there were under 200,000 citizens running around and everybody thought they deserved a shot at running things since most had fought in the war with Old Mexico.  

              Which brings me to a funny point about Texas and the Texas pride. What current sleepy little town is the original location of the first capital of the Republic of Texas? I am always shocked when flag waving Texans never know this.

              "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." -- Thomas Paine

              by pinche tejano on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 09:40:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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