Friday, November 04, 2005

The appearance of impropriety

I was reading a story on Yahoo news the other day about Tom Delay getting the original judge on his case dismissed because that judge had, in the past, contributed money to Democratic causes. At the time, two things caught my attention. First, that's a pretty fucking ridiculous claim to apply to judges in Texas. Why? Because all judges are elected and, hence, almost all judges have political affiliations. If the mere act of contributing funds to a political cause makes a judge partial, are there any impartial judges in the state of Texas? Seemed to me that Delay ran the risk of starting a tit-for-tat snipe session at every judge that got appointed to the case. Sure enough, Ronnie Earl had the judge that dismissed the first judge dismissed as well, this time on the theory that he is a Republican partisan. Where, exactly, does this end in a state where there are no unelected judges?

The second thing that caught my attention was this quote: "He's not the right judge for this case. It's not personal; it's not about him. It's about the appearance of impropriety." Now that's rich. A man who has been chided by the House Ethics Commmittee for actions that, at a minimum, had the appearance of impropriety, who argues that those same actions are legal and ethical, now arguing that the appearance of impropriety must be avoided at allc costs in the judicial setting. This makes me wonder, does Tom Delay really hold the courts in such high regard and the legislature in such low regard that he's willing to hold members of each to such vastly different standards? If that's the case, does such a man really deserve to be a legislature? What possible justification can he provide for that different treatment. One body make laws that govern our country, the other reviews them. These seem like equally important roles and not ones to be pissed upon by some two-bit cretinous thug from Texas.