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Can Supreme Court justices be impeached?

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:46 PM
Original message
Can Supreme Court justices be impeached?
http://origin-www.congress.org/news/2010/03/12/can_supr...

Even though a Supreme Court justice is appointed to serve a lifetime term, he or she can still be impeached if they do not hold the office during "good behavior," as Article III, Section 1of the Constitution says.

Though the Constitution does not specifically define, "good behavior," it does specify the guidelines for invoking impeachment proceedings for a president, vice president, or other civil officer. Since justices are civil officers, these guidelines are often interpreted as one in the same.

"There is no definition of good behavior," said Jonathan R. Siegel, a professor of law at George Washington University Law School. "I think it is generally believed that that standard is somewhat broader than otherwise stated."

Siegel said that the broadness of the term "good behavior" allows for a judge to be removed because of something other than a crime, although to date, none have.

More at the link --
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Metta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Impeached by the House, Tried by the Senate.
... from Answers.com.

"A Supreme Court Justice may be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office if convicted in a Senate trial, but only for the same types of offenses that would trigger impeachment proceedings for any other government official under Articles I and II of the Constitution.

Article III, Section 1 states that judges of Article III courts shall hold their offices "during good behavior." "The phrase "good behavior" has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness 'high crimes and misdemeanors" encompasses."


Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_US_Supreme_Court_justic...
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes

However that would have to be done by the House of Representatives.

And of course, we cannot obtain a Democratic majority for the reason that nobody in their right mind would vote Democratic because Mr. Obama is an evil secret Republican corporatist homophobe, etc.

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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes
Edited on Sun Jun-12-11 06:50 PM by no_hypocrisy
Under normal circumstances, a Supreme Court justice is awarded a lifetime commission.

A Supreme Court Justice may be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office if convicted in a Senate trial, but only for the same types of offenses that would trigger impeachment proceedings for any other government official under Articles I and II of the Constitution.

Article III, Section 1 states that judges of Article III courts shall hold their offices "during good behavior." "The phrase "good behavior" has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness 'high crimes and misdemeanors" encompasses.

In addition, any federal judge may prosecuted in the criminal courts for criminal activity. If found guilty of a crime in a federal district court, the justice would face the same type of sentencing any other criminal defendant would. The district court could not remove him/her from the Bench. However, any justice found guilty in the criminal courts of any felony would certainly be impeached and, if found guilty, removed from office.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_US_Supreme_Court_justic...
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes, one current member of congress is an impeached federal judge. n/t
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Who? us the impeached federal judge serving in Congress?
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Alcee Hastings.
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The Blue Flower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Let's carry on Weiner's good work for him
I think we can show the powers that be that even if they succeed in getting rid of Congressman Weiner, we won't let up on Thomas. Can we crank up the letters and calls to Congress for impeachment? I say yes we can.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yes, but it's pretty much impossible.
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Does cheating on your taxes to hide an enormous conflict-of-interest ....
...constitute "not good behavior"?


Or should we just give all the rest of our money and property to the richest one percent?
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Peregrine Donating Member (712 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
8. Gerald Ford led an impeachment attempt
attempt against William O. Douglas. The bad behavior, he married a woman a few decades younger than himself.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. If I recall, Douglas was also supplementing his income as the president
of some foundation setup by one of the financiers of the Flamingo Hotel.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. The right wing led an impeachment drive against Chief Justice Warren
in the 50s and 60s. It never went anywhere but it probably was good for fund raising.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I remember throughout my childhood and youth (50's and 60's) seeing
IMPEACH EARL WARREN billboards quite often in many places.

I think your interpretation (good for fund raising) is probably accurate, but I have never actually studied the history of it.
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Here:
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thanks for that image!


I'll use it later on!
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Mojeoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. This is worthy of our time and efforts!
It is an easy to follow, simple to explain situation.

Besides being hopelessly entangled in tax evasion and conflict-of-interest,

Thomas is also the judge who has spoken the least and... generated the smallest amount of Supreme Court Judge paper-work in history.

So being a slacker and accused pervert boss are not impeachable. However it does add to the urgency of his removal.

We need a SCJ that works hard and someone we can be absolutely sure represents all the people of America.

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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
16. YES!! Like presidents, SCOTUS judges can be impeached by the House!
But, the House is dominated by Teabagging scums!
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Before that, the teabagging scums had enough Blue Dogs to prevent impeachment
It's going to be a long time before we ever get to the point where enough progressives are in the House to even think about an impeachment of a sitting Supreme Court Justice. And we need to hope that the Senate is still in our hands when it happens.
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Liberal_Stalwart71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. If Obama loses the Senate, it's going to be pure HELL. We think he has a tough time NOW
getting his nominees through. You just wait 'til the Rethugs take over the Senate. Jesus Christ save us!!!! :(
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Agreed
I do think that if the Republicons nominate someone who is absolutely not electable, Bachmann or Palin, for instance, a lot of people who would otherwise vote Democratic will instead vote for the GOPer as a counterweight to the President.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-11 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
21. Yes, but it has never been done successfully.
There is one case, from the 19th century, but the Senate did not convict. Since that time, it hasn't happened.
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