That's a new one.
As we first reported
, James Tobin, Bill Frist's Northeast political director at the NRSC
in 2002, was the guy behind the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal from that year.
Tobin now says
, in motions filed with the court, that his indictment in the case should be thrown out because the grand jury that indicted him included Democrats.
And in line with Tobin's apparent contention that Republicans now constitute a protected class (will they mind if we call them a 'discrete and insular minority'?) there's this ...
And if the case does go to trial, Tobin's lawyers want to question prospective jurors extensively about their politics and their exposure to media reports of the case to root out potential bias.
A proposed questionnaire would ask prospective jurors to disclose their political party, union membership, whether they've ever had a bumper sticker on their car and what it said, what Web logs they read and whether they ever watch TV shows such as "West Wing," CNN's "Crossfire," MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and "The McLaughlin Group," which mostly runs on public television stations.
Tobin's lawyers also want jurors to describe themselves by checking off all that apply: "aggressive, articulate, emotional, entrepreneurial, intelligent, laid back, loyal, naive, perceptive, stubborn, (or) other."
Federal prosecutors countered that Tobin is required to prove actual bias by the grand jury: He cannot ask judges to assume that Democrats would indict based on their political convictions, anymore than judges can assume Republicans would indict Democrats in violation of their oath to look only at the evidence.
Ye olde right to a trial by your party members.