Because the impeachment power lies primarily in the hands of politicians, it is at times threatened for partisan reasons, but the impeachment and removal of judges is in fact rare and usually limited to grave ethical or criminal misconduct such as perjury, fraud, or conflicts of interest. ''It is thereby ordered and adjudged that the said Walter L. Nixon Jr. be removed from office,'' said Senator Robert C. Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, presiding over the Senate. The 61-year-old former judge, who sat in Biloxi, Miss., had been convicted in 1986 on perjury charges and sentenced to five years in prison. The next year, the House impeached U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. on allegations of bribery and making false statements. In the heat of the 1996 presidential campaign, for example, both candidates – President Clinton and Senator Dole – attacked a sitting federal district court judge for ruling evidence inadmissible in a case against a drug courier, and indicated they would support the judge’s removal. David Stewart, Mr. Nixon's lawyer, said the fact he was convicted in a Federal trial presented an insurmountable obstacle in trying to persuade senators to allow him to remain on the bench. A review of studies by the American Judicature Society and the National Center for State Courts, as well as news articles, reveals just two instances of a state judge being impeached in the last 25 years. The House can impeach a judge with a simple majority vote. This norm contributes to the United States’ carefully balanced three-branch system of government, which requires that judges remain insulated from political pressure when deciding cases. Switzerland’s supreme court said Monday it deferred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to decide if Romano Subiotto is eligible to serve on the judging panel at Sun’s retrial. With respect to federal judges, since 1803, the House of Representatives has impeached only 15 judges – an average of one every 14 years – and only 8 of those impeachments were followed by convictions in the Senate. The United States Constitution provides little guidance as to what offenses constitute grounds for the impeachment of federal judges: as with other government officials, judges may be removed following impeachment and conviction for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” otherwise, under Article III, Section 1, judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.”. He was narrowly acquitted on the third, that he brought disgrace upon the Federal judiciary by lying to several law-enforcement agencies. Such threats amount to an assault on "one of the crown jewels of our system of government," namely, the confidence of federal judges "that their judicial acts – their rulings from the bench – would not be a basis for removal from office by impeachment and conviction." Maryland judges accused of wrongdoing should be removed from the bench until a final disciplinary decision is made by the Court of Appeals. Unlike Mr. Nixon, Mr. Hastings was acquitted at his trial. The night before the vote the Senate deliberated for more than six hours in private session on the charges. The removal of a federal judge requires that articles of impeachment be voted on by the House of Representatives. The judicial review council investigates complaints of judicial misconduct. By Neil A. Lewis, Special To the New York Times. The grand jury to which Mr. Nixon was convicted of lying was looking into his ties to Wiley Fairchild, a Hattiesburg, Miss., businessman whose son was being investigated on drug smuggling charges. Although the legal orthodoxy is that judges cannot be removed from office except by impeachment by the House of Representatives followed by conviction by the Senate, several legal scholars, including William Rehnquist, Saikrishna Prakash, and Steven D. Smith, have argued that the Good Behavior Clause may, in theory, permit removal by way of a writ of scire facias filed before a federal … TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. Senate Convicts U.S. Judge, Removing Him From Bench, Neil A. Lewis, Special To the New York Times. Today, the Senate voted 89 to 8 for conviction on the first article of impeachment, that Mr. Nixon lied to a Federal grand jury when he said he never discussed the marijuana drug smuggling case with the District Attorney of Forrest County, Miss., a longtime friend. Federal judges have lifetime tenure and Mr. Nixon had been receiving his annual salary of $89,500. Of the 15 federal judicial impeachments in history, the most common charges were making false statements, favoritism toward litigants or special appointees, intoxication on the bench, and abuse of the contempt power. Iowa Governor-elect Terry Brandstad (R) said at the time that disagreement over a ruling did not constitute grounds for impeachment. Share: The Georgia Supreme Court has ordered that Catoosa County Magistrate Judge Anthony Peters be permanently removed from the bench, and barred him from ever holding or seeking elected or appointed judicial office in the state of Georgia. 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federal judge removed from bench

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