Judge Recuses Self from SMU Bush Library Condo Owners Suit

By LORI STAHL / The Dallas Morning News reports that the judge who has presided over a high-profile lawsuit against Southern Methodist University for years, State District Judge Martin Hoffman, has suddenly withdrawn from the case, bringing a temporary halt to all proceedings. The reason was not clear from a motion he filed with the court (but if you read his bio, you might suppose that he decided he could not be impartial in this case).

But the implications for the case itself – which has indirect ramifications for the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU – were fairly obvious: It no longer seems to be on the verge of ending.

Two months ago, SMU and the two former condominium owners who filed the lawsuit in 2005 announced that they had settled the case. Although the terms were not made public, it was clear that the condo owners agreed to back off their claim to land in exchange for some kind of payment. But within weeks, the terms of the settlement agreement were in dispute. Hoffman was set to issue a ruling on the settlement agreement when he recused himself.

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