But leaves open the possibility for Rubashkin to request venue change in the future.
Here's the entire order as a pdf file:
Download Judge Denies Rubashkin motion to move trial 3-18-09
Update 9:15 pm – Lynda Waddington of the Iowa Independent has a very well done piece on the judge's ruling:
Court denies Rubashkin, Agriprocessors request for new venue
By Lynda Waddington, Iowa Independent
A federal judge ruled today that trials for Agriprocessors, a former executive and a former supervisor do not need to be displaced from Iowa in order to assure justice wields an even hand.
Defense attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin, former day-to-day executive at Agriprocessors, had argued that pretrial publicity prevent their client from receiving a fair hearing in Iowa. The original call for a change of venue was joined by Brent Beebe, a former plant supervisor, and the company itself. In documents filed with the court, however, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade disagreed.
“The issue before the court is not, however, whether Defendants Rubashkin and Agriprocessors have received ‘bad press’ from persons in high places. As counsel for Defendant Rubashkin pointed out at the Hearing, the issue is simply whether Defendants Rubashkin and Agriprocessors will be able to receive a fair trial in the Northern District of Iowa,” Reade wrote.
“At present, the impact of Governor [Chet] Culver’s guest column, as well as the other media articles and items Defendant Rubashkin presented to the court at the Hearing, is unclear.”
Reade stated that “the bad press was at its zenith” in the days and months immediately following the May 2008 immigration raid at Agriprocessors and has declined since that time. Because the trial is not scheduled to begin until September 2009, Reade felt any media influence would continue to deteriorate.