After the San Antonio panel presented its final San Antonio maps, state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, filed a motion asking the lead judge, Orlando Garcia of San Antonio, to step aside. She said, correctly, that his sister-in-law is state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio. The other judges on the panel turned that down; Garcia disclosed the relationship at the beginning of the trial and asked the state and the other parties whether they had any objection. Nobody did, so he stayed.
The San Antonio panel includes two Republicans and a Democrat. Garcia is a Democrat and a former state legislator. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Xavier Rodriguez, a Republican, was appointed by President George W. Bush, after losing a Republican primary for the Texas Supreme Court, where he was trying to hold onto a seat to which Gov. Rick Perry had appointed him. Jerry Smith, a Houston judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is also a Republican. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.