AUSTIN - An appeals court has upheld money-laundering indictments against two of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political associates, finding that the Texas law is not unconstitutional vague or overbroad.
"The challenged statutes give constitutionally adequate notice of the conduct prohibited and sufficiently determine guidelines for law enforcement," said Third Court of Appeals Justice Alan Waldrop in a 46-page opinion issued late Friday.
The ruling was handed down exactly two years from the date the case was argued. The three judges on the panel that heard the case are all Republicans.
But the ruling provided a potential defense for James Ellis and John Colyando by finding that personal checks were not covered by the money laundering statute prior to 2005. The two and DeLay are accused of conspiring to funnel $190,000 in corporate cash illegally to seven Texas House candidates in the 2002 elections, when Republicans captured control of the Legislature. All three say the transactions done by a political campaign committee known as Texans for a Republican Majority were completely legal