In re Justice Jan P. Patterson, Justice, Third District Court of Appeals, in Her Official Capacity, No. 08-0858

A few weeks back, the Third Court released its denial of rehearing en banc in Ex parte Colyandro, a criminal case involving former associates of Tom DeLay. At the time, Justice Diane Henson released an opinion dissenting from that denial of review. (See “Dissension in the Third Court” ) The court’s original order indicated that Justice Jan Patterson also dissented from the Court’s decision not to hear the case en banc, but that she had not yet finished her opinion.

In the meantime, the prosecutor filed a motion to recuse, suggesting that a member of the panel should have been recused. The Court denied that motion without requesting a response on October 8th.

It turns out that the Court has now refused to publish Justice Patterson’s opinion dissenting from that decision. And Justice Patterson has taken the question up to the Texas Supreme Court in the form of a mandamus against Chief Justice Kenneth Law of the Third Court.

This is a very unusual filing related to a remarkably divisive case. The Texas Supreme Court’s docket sheet does not yet provide details, but it does confirm that some filing has been made.

Source: “Dissent blocked in DeLay case, justice says” (Austin American-Statesman)