Published in Reuters
Valerie Jackson, a transgender woman who was allegedly forced to reveal her genitalia to employees at the Dallas County jail in 2016 when she was booked into pre-trial custody, is suing Dallas County, former Dallas sheriff Lupe Valdez and several other Texas officials in federal court in Dallas for violating her constitutional rights. In September, her case was reassigned to the newly-installed U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr. Jackson’s lawyers immediately moved for Judge Starr to recuse himself.
Jackson and her counsel contended that Starr, a former assistant Texas attorney general, had demonstrated actual bias against transgender people, signing AG opinions in cases that, in their view, sought to restrict LGBTQ rights and refusing to answer questions in his Senate confirmation process about equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Their recusal motion also argued that Judge Starr’s previous advocacy would give rise to the appearance of bias, requiring his recusal.
Last month, Judge Starr declined to step aside.