Magazine article Church & State

Impeachment Imbroglio: Religious Right Targets Judges for LGBT Rulings

Magazine article Church & State

Impeachment Imbroglio: Religious Right Targets Judges for LGBT Rulings

Article excerpt

Article III of the U.S. Constitution lays out the parameters for impeachment of federal officials.

These officials, who include judges, may be removed from office for "Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

You will note that the Constitution does not say that judges can be removed for handing down decisions that far-right groups don't like. Increasingly, though, some Religious Right activists are acting as if it does.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III recently struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage. Jones, who in an eloquent opinion asserted, "We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history," came under immediate fire from the Religious Right.

It's one thing to criticize a judge's ruling. Groups on the right and the left do that all of the time. It's quite another to demand that a judge be removed from office for writing it.

Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania insisted that Congress can remove judges like Jones - for no other reason than the way they rule.

Such an assertion is highly dubious. Federal judges have certainly been removed from office over the years. But it's not a common thing, and those who have been successfully impeached have been found guilty of serious lapses in judgment or crimes.

A handful of federal judges were removed from office in the nineteenth century for being intoxicated while on the bench. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.