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Second judge recuses self in DeLay trial

[JURIST] Texas Administrative Judge B.B. Schraub on Thursday recused himself from further proceedings in the trial of Rep. Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] after Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website] filed a motion requesting a new judge to replace him [JURIST report]. Earle argued that Schraub could make unbiased decisions in the case because he is a Republican and had made more than $5,000 in contributions to Republican candidates. Before stepping down from the proceedings, Schraub was responsible for picking a new judge to replace Judge Bob Perkins [Houston Chronicle report]. Perkins had been removed from the case after another judge decided that Perkins' Democratic affiliation and donations to several liberal and Democratic causes could bias the case. DeLay is facing money laundering and criminal conspiracy charges in connection with improper campaign contributions. AP has more.

6:30 PM ET - Schraub's recusal passed the responsibility for naming a new trial judge to Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson [official website]. It was disclosed late Thursday, however, that Jefferson, a Republican, had the same campaign treasurer and consultant as DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority. Jefferson has, however, now named retired Bexar County judge Pat Priest [profile], a Democrat, to take over the politically sensitive trial. The Austin American-Statesman has more.

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