Judge Hughes spoke in a discriminatory way about Jitendra Shah and his lawsuit. I previously wrote about Judge Hughes’ ex parte discussion here and here. The Judge discussed the merits of a lawsuit even though the plaintiff’s lawyer was absent. And, he made some stereotypical comments about Indians, Caucasians, state government workers and Indian engineers. And, as I mentioned, the plaintiff asked the judge to recuse himself from the lawsuit. So, now several months later, the judge had not ruled on the motion to recuse. No judge likes a motion to recuse. I am sure Judge Hughes liked it much less when the motion stated his comments were racist.
So, the plaintiff’s lawyers filed a request with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to remove him from the lawsuit. The plaintiff went from exercising the "nuclear option" to doubling down on the nuclear option. See Houston Chronicle report. Filing a motion to recuse is an extraordinary move to make for any lawyer or party.
So, a couple of weeks after the plaintiffs filed their request with the Fifth Circuit, Judge Hughes finally ruled on the motion to recuse. He denied the motion, saying his remarks were taken out of context. In his order, the Judge discusses his remarks in detail explaining why they were reasonable. He says he has Indian friends, Indian doctors, law clerks and interns. It takes him six pages to explain his remarks and justify his decision not to recuse himself. All this from a judge recently censured by the Fifth Circuit for a racially insensitive remark. In another lawsuit, Judge Hughes recently made racially insensitive remarks about Koreans. He explains that remark, suggesting it too was taken out of context.
The more he tries to explain, the more he indicts himself. Judge Hughes sounds more and more like the folks I have been required to sue for discrimination. None of us are perfect. I believe that none of us are without some bigotry. But, perhaps, someone with this lack of judgment or self-control should not preside over a discrimination lawsuit.