In a courtroom victory for Rep. Tom DeLay, the judge in the campaign-finance case against the former House Republican leader was removed because of his donations to Democratic candidates and causes. The ruling came after a hearing in which DeLay's attorneys argued that state District Judge Bob Perkins' political donations created the appearance of bias. Perkins, a Democrat, has contributed more than $5,000 since 2000 to Democratic candidates such as John Kerry and the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org. Perkins had declined to withdraw from the case, and prosecutor Rick Reed argued at the hearing that DeLay had to prove that a member of the public would have a "reasonable doubt that the judge is impartial" before Perkins could be removed. "Judges are presumed to be impartial," Reed said. Perkins did not attend the hearing and did not immediately return a call for comment.
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