Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Texas Judicial System: A Model For Corruption

DeLay Case Turns Spotlight on Texas Judicial System - New York Times:
With prosecution and defense objecting to a string of judges, the DeLay case has produced a conundrum: can a partisan Republican defendant appear to get a fair trial from a partisan Democratic judge, as revealed by the political contributions the judge made? Traditionally, the focus has been on the money the judges received.

'Judges in Texas swing the gavel with one hand and take money with the other,' said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, a nonpartisan group that tracks the influence of money and corporate power in the state.

Mr. McDonald called the campaign gifts to the judges legal yet highly suspect, and traced the ballooning costs of judicial races to the assault on Democratic power in Texas by the presidential adviser Karl Rove.


In 1998, Texas for Public Justice issued its own report, finding that the seven Texas Supreme Court justices elected since 1994 had raised $9.2 million, of which 40 percent came from interests with cases before the court. A survey taken for the court itself, the group said, found that nearly half of the judges themselves thought that campaign contributions significantly affected their decisions.

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