Federal Judge in Redistricting Battle is Brother in Law of Texas Democrat Senate Caucus Chairman
by David Bellow on December 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Judge Orlando L. Garcia is the Brother-In-Law of Democrat State Senator Leticia Van De Putte. Van De Putte was recently the Texas State Senate Caucus Chairman for nearly a decade and she is one of the most liberal Democrats in Texas. Judge Orlando Garcia should have stepped down because of this clear conflict of interest.
I was speaking to a State Senator the other night (he will remain anonymous). We were talking about Texas Redistricting and about the US Supreme Court stopping the ridiculous abuse of power by the two Judges in the San Antonio Federal Court. It was almost as if the Democrats were single handedly allowed to redraw the maps, and then these Judges just used what the Democrats had drawn.
This State Senator asked me if I knew that one of these two Federal Judges was the brother-in-law of the Texas Democrat Senate Caucus Chairman. I almost did not believe him at first because, well, if this was true, then it would have been all over the news, but I had never seen this on the news.
Maybe Judge Garcia and Senator Van De Putte do not communicate with each other? Wrong! The State Senator I was talking to told me that Judge Garcia is known to eat dinner nearly every Sunday night with Senator Van De Putte.
Maybe Senator Van De Putte does not have an opinion about Redistricting battles in Texas? Wrong! Senator Van De Putte was very vocally against Republicans in the 2003 Texas redistricting battle. She accused Republicans of trying to hurt minorities in redistricting. That sounds very familiar to what is being said in this year’s redistricting battle. Senator Van De Putte very likely played a hand in making sure this redistricting lawsuit was filed in San Antonio where her brother-in-law is the Federal Judge. Senator Van De Putte also very likely used her relationship with the San Antonio Judge to inappropriately affect the court’s decision. I guess if you do not want the Elected Officials of Texas to draw the maps as required by the Constitution, then the next best thing would be to ask your brother-in-law Judge to redraw the maps right? This is judicial activism and corrupt government at its worst.
Also, a reader just sent this comment in to me: Sen Van Putte was also co-chair of the National Democrat Convention in 2008. The lawsuits filed in Justice Orlanda Garcia's court were funded by the National Democrat Redistricting Trust. The National Democrat Redistricting Trust was given a favorable ruling by the FEC, ruling the donors could remain anonymous.
Redistricting Panel Conflict of Interest, Media Cover Up
This relationship between Judge Garcia and State Senator Van De Putte is shocking. Just as shocking is the fact that the media has completely ignored this clear conflict of interest. There was a Republican State Representative, Sarah Davis, who heard about this conflict of interested and objected to it, but the Federal Court quickly shot down her motion. The State Senator that I was talking to mentioned that the Texas Attorney General’s staff did not want to make a big deal about it because this was the beginning stages of the redistricting battle and they did not want to make the Federal Court mad because that might cause the Judges to rule against the State Drawn Maps. That plan sure didn’t work though because the Judges still went on to completely overstep their boundaries and re-draw the Texas Redistricting Maps in favor of the Democrats!
According to Daniel Greer of Agenda Wise, the United States Judicial Code provides for the disqualification of a judge if his spouse or a person within the third degree of relationship to either individual is a party to the proceeding. Democrat legislators sued to have maps drafted during the session disqualified and redrawn by judges. Democrat Senator Leticia Van De Putte is the sister-in-law of one of the three judges on the panel who redrew the maps, Judge Orlando L. Garcia. Since the state was sued, its officers are a party to the suit, making Garcia’s relation to Van De Putte a conflict of interest.