Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Judge Refuses To Recuse Himself On Charges That Jewish Charitable Activities Bias Him In Immigration Trial

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on a decision last week by Michigan federal district court judge Paul Borman in which he angrily refused to recuse himself in the trial of a Palestinian woman charged with hiding her terrorism-related past in coming to the U.S. and applying for U.S. citizenship. Defendant Rasmieh Odeh failed to disclose the fact that she had spent 10 years in prison in Israel after being convicted of taking part in two terrorist bombings in Jerusalem. Her lawyers claim that Judge Borman's long history of support and fund-raising for the Detroit Jewish Federation and his organizing trips to Israel bias him and likely gave him extra-judicial information relevant to defendant's claim that she was beaten and raped while in Israeli custody.  In United States v. Odeh, (ED MI, July 31, 2014), Judge Borman wrote:
My relationship to my faith and my heritage through my activity on behalf of the Detroit Jewish Federation, reads nothing like the innuendo and rank speculation that infects Defendant’s motion.