The county counsel's instruction to his deputies to disqualify Judge Jack Newman in a bathhouse case (and, apparently in other Los Angeles County cases) is an outrage.
The county counsel has apparently succumbed to pressure from Supervisor Pete Schabarum who has said publicly that Judge Newman's past ties to the Democratic Party makes him suspect.
Democratic, or for that matter Republican, affiliation certainly has no relevance to a bathhouse case unless one contends that civil rights or civil liberty questions are better handled by members of one party rather than the other.
The same considerations apply to cases involving the homeless--in which Schabarum was critical of Judge Newman.
A little history is in order. The Writs and Receivers Department where Judge Newman serves is one of the most sensitive and taxing departments of the Superior Court. It hears all requests for injunctions, many election and ballot questions and cases involving important constitutional issues. Over the years judges who have been active in both major parties have served in that department with distinction. Justice Robert Thompson (retired) made many speeches for Republican candidates. Judges Robert I. Weil, George Dell (retired) and Ralph Nutter (retired) were active Democrats.