Impeachment of Supremes (Kelo)


June 27, 2005, 03:47 PM
US Constitution - Article II, Section IV:The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
This would seem to indicate that the Supremes are able to be Impeached the same as the President. My question is, would dereliction of duty (i.e. ignoring what all people can plainly see is meant by "public use" in the 5th Amendment) count as "other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"? As far as O can tell there is no "list" or other definition of what constitutes high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Certainly if we could prove one or more had been bribed to rule as they did they could be Impeached, but that is highly unlikely. The definition of Treason pretty thoroughly precludes its use in this case.

For those who don't know where this is coming from, just Google Kelo vs New London.

If you enjoyed reading about "Impeachment of Supremes (Kelo)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 28, 2005, 07:41 AM
I really wonder where they get the basis for their decisions. The Constitution and Bill of rights and even the Federalist papers point to individual rights being the key, not "collective". Wow we've had this argument for years fall on deaf ears with RKBA now property rights too. see a pattern?

On the Supreme court... I was listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday (for the last time in my life) I really see now that this guy is just a Republican mouth piece. He went on and on about the liberal Supreme court etc inferring that the court was democrat etc. There are 2 democrats on the court by Clinton. The rest- Mostly Reagan and Bush appointee's with a Ford and Nixon in there. ALL REPUBLICAN. Does Rush wanna hear this? NO! His producer doesn't want the facts to get in the way of Rush's diatribe. So Rush Rants on and takes one call on the subject and moves on leaving no room to talk on this and letting his producer push yet another listener away to listen to others more talented and grounded in reality than the MAHA-Rushie. I had a number of other points as well on the USSC rulings but... oh well.


June 28, 2005, 09:03 AM
Acording to what I was taught in high school the only person legaly capable
of removing a sitting justice is the President.
Although considering most of the other dren I was taught I have doubts on that.

The Rabbi
June 28, 2005, 09:36 AM
Not only Supreme Court Justices but any federal judge needs to be impeached and convicted to be removed from office, just like the President. The last judge to be so removed I recall was one Alcee Hastings, about 3-4 years ago.
That said, just because they handed down a decision you dont like doesnt make it an impeachable offense.
A better tack would be to push for legislation limiting "takings" to the more traditional view. The Supremes had plenty of precedent for their decision, btw.

Walt Sherrill
June 28, 2005, 09:38 AM
The president can impeach a justice? Don't think so.

The The right to impeach public officials is addressed in the U.S. Constitution in Article I, Sections 2 and 3, which discuss the procedure, and in Article II, Section 4, which indicates the grounds for impeachment: "the President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

The Constitution says "The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment."

Impeachment = indictment, not removal.

If you're going to IMPEACH a justice, it would seem the House would have to do it. Then the Senate, once the justice is impeached, would act as the Jury when he or she is taken to trial. (Seems appropriate, actually, as they had to vote 2/3 in the justice's favor when he or she was appointed.)

The president isn't part of the process.

The list of possible crimes is pretty broad, but there are serious questions as to whether the judicial decisions that have us all upset could be considered "impeachable" offenses. Having a different political view is not grounds for impeachment.

This all goes back to Marbury vs. Madison where the Supreme Court asserted the power of judicial review, and the Congress didn't do anythng about it. (Its a power shared by most judiciaries in most countries...)

June 28, 2005, 10:32 AM
A better tack would be to push for legislation limiting "takings" to the more traditional view.

Exactly! The Court essentially said that the gov't could redistribute land to other private parties, so we'll see who decides to try this. If/When that happens, we need to vote those losers out.

June 28, 2005, 11:42 AM
The founders goofed when they gave the Supremes so much unregulated power. Jefferson realized it. This stuff isn't new: It's been going on for 200 years.

----- To T. Ritchie, 1820

The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet . . . We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring stride their five lawyers have lately taken. If they do, then . . . I will say, that "against this every man should raise his voice," and more, should uplift his arm . . .

Having found, from experience that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scarecrow, they consider themselves secure for life; they sculk from responsibility to public opinion . . . An opinion is huddled up in conclave, perhaps by a majority of one, delivered as if unanimous„and with the silent acquiescence of lazy or timid associates, by a crafty chief judge, who sophisticates the law to his mind, by the turn of his own reasoning . . .

A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone, is a good thing; but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.
There are more excerpts from Jefferson's letters about the Judiciary here ( .

If we attempt to fix this through legislation, we are only dabbing with mud the place in the wall where a rotten brick has fallen out. Tomorrow it will be another brick, and then another. We must make the judiciary answerable to the people by some practical means. The fixes to this problem are constitutional, not legislative.

June 28, 2005, 01:11 PM
...upstairs in my closet. Do you?

"The definition of Treason pretty thoroughly precludes its use in this case."

Strange ain't it? Treason is exactly what they did, but we can't use real treason as a definition of treason.


June 28, 2005, 01:33 PM
There have been so many references made by many of these justices to laws of foreign countries and their precedents, that it should be an easy matter to impeach (if not remove) most of them, provided there is a scintilla of will to do so in Congress and the Senate.

"Treason" should be easy to prove, as what else would you call decision making that relies on the use of foriegn law or U.N. drivel, unratified by the American people?

What name would you give the crime of in essence saying "I know what the original meaning is, and my oath and my charge, but now I have to update it to keep up with the times"? Treason sounds fine to me there too.

Treason to the Founders, to their vision, to the blood they shed on our behalf, to our country, and to us and our children, in our lifetimes. :fire:

I really see no need to couch this in any other language, although I am sure hordes of lawyers will be necessary to do just that, assuming there is any will to proceed with impeachments.

Anybody hoping for "legislative" or "constitutional" reform (IE more laws and amendments on the books) had better rethink that position. What a patriot would write has already been written. What will be the "compromise" that passes both houses and the President will bear no relation to the original, but WILL be held as binding, where the original wasn't by judicial fiat.

I rather like the idea of restoring the meaning of the original just fine, and only the most efficacious means by which to do that are rolling through my imagination.

June 29, 2005, 12:04 AM
That said, just because they handed down a decision you dont like doesnt make it an impeachable offense.
A better tack would be to push for legislation limiting "takings" to the more traditional view. The Supremes had plenty of precedent for their decision, btw.

Rabbi, we are not basing this on "not liking" the decision.
We are basing it on, "Where in the hell did they even scrape together the asinine justification for this decision?!"

And let's not forget, it was merely a 5-4 majority -- hardly clear-cut, here.

So far, to me and to MANY others, it seems a thoroughly intellectually bankrupt decision on the court's part. The dissent has made that abundantly clear, and so does the common sense of the everyman.

And no, the solution is not to make legislation that protects against this kind of seizure. The solution is to recognize that the 5th Amendment already does that!

Further, who gives a crap if they had "plenty of precedent"? Some precedents exist IN ERROR! What about anti-gun decisions whose "precedent" is the incredibly flawed Miller decision? Are you actually arguing that as long as it's precedent, it must be logically valid?! :banghead: :barf:


June 29, 2005, 06:17 AM
...can stand up for these five treasonous thugs. Anyone who does is painted with the same brush. Anyone who grabs land based on the horror these bastids have unleashed is NOT an American and should be hounded right out of this county for the mere reason that it is illegal to do to those and their DISHONORABLE enablers what they really and truly deserve to have done to them.

Anyone that I can get to who supports the treason these bastids have committed is in MORTAL danger. I am old. They can take me out now and I won't miss much. If I can take some anti-American with me, good.


June 29, 2005, 06:47 AM
When we need to legislate to clarify the meaning of the Constitution, it is already too late.

June 29, 2005, 07:08 AM
Really bad idea going around here.

First of all, the Constitution says that judges shall remain in office "during good behavior." That's it. I don't want to be like the statists who wish to redefine things like "public use" or "interstate commerce" to mean things they were clearly never intended to mean. Good behavior does not mean "writing opinions with which I agree." It means acting sane and not committing any serious crimes.

Just because some drug warrior thinks Clarence Thomas is "behaving badly" by writing a decision like this one (, that does not mean he should be impeached.

Second, impeaching the offending judges in the Kelo (or Raich/Stewart, for that matter) cases would do nothing to overturn the precedent they have set. Punishment for impeachment can only include removal from office.

The precedent is set. Public use means any use, public or private, which may result in increased tax revenue. That understanding will now be treated as if it IS part of the Constitution. There is one way to fix that: amend the Constitution. I'd like to let Justice Thomas write the new definition of "public use" into the Constitution. I'd let him have a go at "interstate commerce" as well.

The only other way to get rid of that precedent is to wait around for the Court to reverse themselves. They will not. No law can affect what they have done. We must amend the Constitution.

The Rabbi
June 29, 2005, 08:05 AM
Rabbi, we are not basing this on "not liking" the decision.

Did you read the decision? There was a case involving Hawaii that was somewhat similar to this one. This one was not a stretch by any means given the cases that have come before. THe judicial system generally runs on precedent. That is how cases get decided. THat is why absent any legislation most likely no court will ever rule that 2A confers an individual right.
Again, I am not defending the decision (which I think is odious) but to go around saying "let's impeach them" or worse is to demonstrate complete and abysmal ignorance of the legal system.
I agree with Publius here. Is it a blue moon or something??

June 29, 2005, 08:13 AM
Must be. Justice Thomas, in his dissent, conceded that the precedents are in place by suggesting that the Court revisit their eminent domain rulings and set a new standard.

Given that, it was rather surprising to me that we got Scalia back on the side of liberty in the Kelo case. After all, it was his deference to well-established precedents which caused him to rule the way he did in Raich. Now he doesn't like precedent so much all of a sudden. Hmmm.

June 29, 2005, 08:18 AM

If you enjoyed reading about "Impeachment of Supremes (Kelo)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!