Well, whether or not he really has a known bias, the suspicion that he might have any one of a number of biases could drive the tactical choice of a lawyer to exercise the procedural right to have a case reassigned. If there were a clear, actual bias there'd be a basis to have the judge removed for cause. When lawyers exercise their "freebie" peremptory challenges, they're often just guessing. Or it could be that their client is uncomfortable, for rational or irrational reasons, with the particular judge. When I typed my previous post, I didn't realize that was the mechanism for reassignment - I just read your post and not the link. Knowing this, I'd double down on my "nope" answer. This sort of rule-established, tactical reassignment happens all the time and has nothing to do with the death or not of judicial independence.
Originally Posted by Piobaire
I hope you're right and the power of change.org petitions and SJWs on social media doesn't change this.
There's also funny sort of market correction lurking here that I'm sure game theory people could play with.
If we're talking about party-driven reassignments as of right, a lawyer or party who invests too much credence in the SJW social media is going to screw over his client and himself. The whole reassignment thing only works to your benefit if you don't create a frying pan - fire thing. If social media gets its e-panties in a wad for no good reason, and you choose Door #2 based on that, you're being pretty foolish.
When I started practicing in LA, the courts had a hilarious, insidiously brilliant way to discouraging people from exercising these challenges (because they make administration and case load balancing among the judges more difficult, among other reasons). Basically, every time a judge was removed from the case by a party exercising one of these challenges, they got another spot on the theoretical roulette wheel that was used to determine second assignments. In other words, before exercising your peremptory challenge you had to factor in the fact that if you bailed on the judge initially assigned, the assignment on a new judge would be heavily weighted toward the senile, batshit crazy, stupid, or just mean old bastards nobody wanted to try their cases before.