Judicial Impeachment

Judicial Impeachment : None Called for Justice

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Impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate are the sole means of removing presidents and other federal officials from office. The congressional power to do so had been used sparingly until the early 1980s, when three federal judges were removed by the Senate in almost as many years.Through extensive use of original transcripts, Mary Volcansek analyzes the criminal and congressional proceedings that led to the Senate's conviction and removal of U.S. Judges Harry Claiborne (Nevada), Walter Nixon (Mississippi), and Alcee Hastings (Florida). Claiborne and Nixon both had already been convicted of felonies, yet they demanded impeachment and trial rather than resign their judicial appointments. They and Hastings portrayed themselves as victims of vendettas, claims that altered little when the Senate considered their cases.Volcansek explores various political and legal explanations for the rise in impeachments, among them the Judicial Conduct Act of 1980; the Public Integrity Office of the U.S. Department of Justice; partisanship and ideology; and judicial corruption. She also shows how the cases of Claiborne, Hastings, and Nixon are more than studies in judicial misconduct: the events leading to their Senate convictions, she is convinced, allow evaluation of how law enforcement, the Judicial Conduct Act, impeachment, and politics fit together.Finally, she considers the impeachments in the context of the competing ideals of judicial accountability and independence, suggesting that a type of special counsel be used to investigate alleged judicial misbehavior as a means of stemming misconduct while insulating the judiciary from executive or partisan interference.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 160.8 x 237 x 21.3mm | 532.48g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 025201961X
  • 9780252019616