[JURIST] The Texas trial of US Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive] on money laundering charges [JURIST report] is expected to begin early next year after Judge Pat Priest [profile] on Monday dismissed a conspiracy charge [JURIST report] against DeLay but refused to throw out the money laundering allegations. Priest's decision can be appealed by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website] within 15 days, although he has not yet announced plans to do so. Priest will wait until after the appeals period to rule on DeLay's motion to move the trial out of Austin, a liberal, Democratic-leaning city. DeLay's attorneys allege that Earle used forum shopping [JURIST report] to select a favorable jury. The money laundering charges against DeLay stem from allegations of improper campaign contributions in the 2002 elections for the Texas legislature. AP has more.