Friday, February 20, 2009

The beginning of the end for Judge Sharon Keller?

Analyzing the charging document against Sharon Keller from the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, Paul Burka predicts that the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is "Gone Baby, Gone." After analyzing the details of charges against here, he writes:

Stick a fork in her: She’s done. There is no way Keller can survive this. The statute governing the Commission on Judicial Conduct states:

A voluntary agreement to resign from judicial office in lieu of disciplinary action by the commission shall be public upon the commission’s acceptance of the agreement. A judge may ask the Chief Justice of the [Texas] Supreme Court for appointment of a special court of review. (There is no ordinary right of appeal.)

Keller has three choices: resign, be removed by the Commission, or be impeached. The odds against her serving out her term, which expires in 2012, are astronomical. My money is on resignation. The sooner the better.

What do you think? Will Keller resign? Is it possible the Commission on Judicial Conduct will force her ouster? Or are impeachment proceedings remotely likely to proceed?

My own view is that the answer to all three questions is probably "no," though I think Judge Keller should have resigned in disgrace a year and a half ago when all this first came down. But she clearly has plenty of chutzpah and I'd guess she'll stay on the job, similar to Illinois Governor Blagojevich, until she's dragged out kicking and screaming.

What's more, the Commission on Judicial Conduct is hardly known for ousting powerful, high court judges, though I'd be (pleasantly) surprised to see them do so now. And the GOP dominated Senate would never convict her, even in the (highly) unlikely event she was impeached in the House.

My guess is still that the best chance to actually get rid of Sharon Keller won't come till she's up for reelection in 2012. But by then, no matter what happens, she'll have a big, fat target on her forehead and could easily become the first statewide Republican candidate in more than a decade to lose their job to a Democrat at the ballot box.

MORE (Updated 2/21):

8 comments:

Scott Cobb said...

I predict there are going to be some editorials soon by many Texas newspapers urging her to resign and that if she does not resign urging the House to impeach her.

If she is impeached, and until the Senate convicts or acquits her, she would be automatically suspended from office, according to the constitution.

Anonymous said...

My impression (based solely upon the public personna of Judge Keller as stated in the media, including this blog) is that Her Honor is one of those Republican babies, spoiled rotten to the core, inculcated with and in the grasp of an unrealistic belief in being entitled to high office and the perks that go with it. She doesn't understand boundaries, has no inkling of her human ability to make terrible mistakes, and therefore does not recognize when she makes one and refuses to admit it. She will not show remorse or even some form of apology to the people of Texas for her actions.

I want some of Burka's money.

Anonymous said...

The "Commission on Judicial Conduct" will absolve her and then the impeachment movement will lose all its steam.

TxBluesMan said...

Gee, a liberal mag thinks that a conservative judge is toast.

Yeah, I'll put all of my money on that one...

Anonymous said...

You know, Keller is no different than the politicians currently in office in Austin. Who watches them and why can't they be impeached when they are caught DWI, carrying weapons in airports or attempting to fire bartenders that won't serve them drinks when they are too inebriated to handle any more? Or the DPS that won't ticket them? Who is the watchdog for these office holders?

Anonymous said...

I think public outrage is going to continue to swell until she's impeached or she resigns, and she will be disbarred.

Playing games with human life when you're a judge is just not something that people are going to forget.

I think the NYTimes editorial's impact reveals how "off the radar" so much of the abuses in the Texas "justice" system are. I believe getting the word about all the terrible practices in the judiciary, prosecutorial, and law enforcement branches of our 'justice system' could have significant reform effects.

We really are operating legally like a third world country - and we have rule of law only due to the general integrity of most Texans. There is no rule of law in a state where a judge can play games in order to move an execution forward when she doesn't even the authority to do so.

There is no rule of law in a state where the four male police officers can beat a 12 year old child, arrest her and her family AFTER beating her up in a stunning conflict of interest, and then put the child through two traumatic trials for "assaulting" these officers.

These male police officer, who were not in uniform and attempted to pull this child into their unmarked van, rather than talking to her parents, who were in the family home, then proceeded to spread rumors that this child was a prostitute. However, they never contacted CPS about their concerns or showed any care for her welfare.

Sleaziness equals Galveston County DAs Kurt Sistrunk and Joel Bennett.

Sleaziness equals the Galveston Police Department.

I implore anyone involved in justice department, please bring in the feds to help the people of Galveston County, who are suffering under corrupt and brutal law enforcement and DAs.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link about that incident where a 12 year old child was beaten by four adult male police officers. I should add that during her trial, the courtroom was filled with uniformed GPD officers staring down the jury. This occurred at a juvenile trial.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/01/dymond_milburn_galveston.php

Anonymous said...

My Prediction. She will wait it out hoping for a Republican miracle. I will bet though that many MANY phone calls to a certain Austin number have been dialed from her phone, asking if this can be done to improve her chances of staying on the bench.

Arrogance knows no bounds and in this case, I doubt she even realizes that she IS arrogant.