Name That Party: Spanking Judge Edition

When a former Alabama judge is indicted on 57 felony counts, including sodomy, kidnapping and paddling jail inmates, that's news.  If the judge is a Democrat once under consideration for the Federal bench by Bill Clinton, that part isn't news.

MSNBC's Web site reports "Former Judge Herman Thomas Indicted on Sex, Ethics Charges."  The piece begins:

Former Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas has bonded out of the Mobile County Metro Jail after he was arrested Friday afternoon. Before his arrest, Thomas was indicted by a grand jury on 57 felony counts, accusing him of, among other things, sexually abusing Mobile County inmates in exchange for favors in his courtroom. Thomas is charged with ethics violations, kidnapping, extortion, sexual abuse and sodomy. The indictment against him includes graphic details of alleged paddling and other sexual favors. Eight victims are named in the indictment. All of the alleged victims are men.

Other news outlets covering the story included the Montgomery Advertiser, the Press-Register,, and WKRG TV 5 in Mobile.

None identified the judge as a Democrat.  The January 4, 2000 Mobile Register did.  In a story titled "Too late? Clinton may not get to fill judgeship," the newspaper reported in a subtitle:

Senate may not allow Clinton pick: Herman Thomas  has been a leading candidate for federal berth, but his chances may be dimmed by a GOP freeze

From the article:

It is "probably too late" for a Clinton nominee to clear the Senate before his term ends early next year, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, said in an interview last week. Sessions is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which screens the judicial nominees.

The delay could be bad news for Circuit Judge Herman Thomas of Mobile, a Democrat who emerged as the leading candidate for the position in 1997 after a state patronage committee recommended him for the opening.

Thomas' chances seemed to fade in 1997 amid reports that the American Bar Association had questioned his fitness for the job.

But interest in Thomas appeared to surge again last summer, when federal investigators and bar association officials resumed the interviewing of his legal, political and social associates.

Herman Thomas: Yet another Democrat whose party affiliation isn't worth mentioning.  At least not by the mainstream media.  

Media Bias Debate Labeling Name That Party