OC Weekly has a new article suggesting Orly Taitz did just that, titled “Did Orly Taitz Shop for the Texas Judge Who Set Today’s Border-Crosser Hearing?” The idea isn’t new. I got an email August 22 from a reader pointing out the post at Orly’s site about her exchange with a Congressional assistant about the judge in Taitz v. Johnson, Andrew S. Hanen, having strong objections to the government’s handling of immigration issues. Judge Hanen, a 1978 graduate of Baylor University Law School, was appointed federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southeastern District of Texas by President George W. Bush, and joined the court in 2002, his first judgeship.
Judge Hanen became national news through a December 20, 2013 article in National Review that said, in part:
A federal judge in Texas has issued a searing indictment of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. He accuses the government of “completing the criminal mission” of human traffickers “who are violating the border security of the United States” and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals.” The judge calls the administration’s behavior “dangerous and unconscionable” and says that “DHS should cease telling the citizens of the United States that it is enforcing our border security laws because it is clearly not. Even worse, it is helping those who violate these laws.”
That came from his order in the case of U.S. v. Nava-Martinez, published the week before the article.
Prompted by the August 22 email, I published my own article on the 26th briefly mentioning what Taitz said about Judge Hanen, but not alluding to the judge shopping angle.
In fact, the Southeastern District of Texas has no fewer than 14 serving judges (and 5 vacancies); however, the Brownsville Division has only one district judge, Judge Hanen. (It also has a senior judge and a magistrate judge.) Taitz, who filed in the Brownsville Division could, I suppose, have effectively picked the judge by picking the court.
According to one eyewitness report, Judge Hanen pointedly asked Taitz at today’s hearing why she, a California attorney with witnesses residing in California, didn’t file her case in California.
If my time zone calculator (often awry) is correct, the hearing is scheduled to start in about 10 minutes. There should be a special RC Radio show tonight featuring observer Tomtech with details.