November 29, 2023

Trump-appointed Judge Pittman Recuses Himself from Case

I know most of you were hoping to see that Judge Engoron has recused himself from the Trump fraud case, but, unfortunately, that is not what happened.

It was Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas who requested the recusal.

Pittman filed with the clerk of the court on Tuesday, requesting that the court assign a new judge to the suit filed by Elon Musk against Media Matters.

Can’t Do It

Exactly why Pittman requested the recusal is unknown, but we can give our best guess as to why, which would be that he more than likely had a financial interest in one of Musk’s ventures.

Federal judges are required to recuse themselves when “impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” which would include bias or financial interest.

Point being, if Pittman had an investment in Tesla or X, he would be required to recuse himself from the case.

The suit was filed by Elon Musk against Media Matters for comments made about X.

Media Matters issued a report that painted X in a negative light, including that it would place ads next to hateful content to highlight what it deemed to be a lack of control on Musk’s part to control hateful comments.

Musk contended this was a misrepresentation of what the average person experiences, citing that Media Matters' experience was not what “typical X users experience on the platform.”

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone responded to the suit, stating, “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence.

“Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”

Pittman was first appointed to the bench by then-Governor Rick Perry in January 2015, serving as the Judge of the 352nd Civil Court for Tarrant County.

He was then appointed to the Texas Second Court of Appeals by Governor Greg Abbott in January 2017.

In August 2019, Donald Trump appointed Pittman to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

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