Skip to comments.Constitution Party Wants Supreme Court Justices Impeached
Posted on 07/05/2003 8:52:56 PM PDT by furnitureman
Constitution Party Wants Supreme Court Justices Impeached The nation's self-proclaimed third largest political party Thursday called for the impeachment of the six Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn a Texas law banning homosexual sodomy. One legal expert responded that the prospect of impeaching justices for political decisions was settled nearly 200 years ago.
James Clymer, chairman of the Constitution Party National Committee, called the court's decision "an affront to the very foundation" of the U.S. Constitution.
"It also shows blatant disregard for the people of various states and the laws their representatives have lawfully enacted," Clymer continued.
"Those members of the court who have so brazenly exercised illicit judicial authority should have to face the consequences of their actions which are violations of the Constitution, something they took an oath to uphold," he said.
Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Stephen Breyer, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens voted to strike down the Texas law and, Clymer said, should be removed from the court as a result.
The Constitution Party, which claims it is America's third largest political party in terms of actual voter registration, embraces the view that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights mean precisely what they say and that only their application, not meaning, should be subject to interpretation by the courts.
The group believes the decision is an unconstitutional encroachment upon powers reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment, which states that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution...are reserved to the States..."
"In other words," Clymer explained, "if a state is exercising a power reserved to it - like defining, establishing and applying its own laws pertaining to criminal justice - then the federal courts are supposed to maintain a hands-off attitude and uphold the state's right to do so."
He points to Article III Section 1 of the Constitution, which established the "supreme Court," as giving the grounds for impeachment.
"Contrary to popular belief, the justices of the Supreme Court do not have life tenure," Clymer argued. "Instead, the Constitution states that they are to serve 'during good behavior,' and this ruling is a prime example of what truly bad judicial behavior is."
He believes the intent of the "good behavior" clause was to ensure that judges would "maintain fidelity to the Constitution, the law and the highest of ethical standards during the conduct of their work.
"Their failure to do so is supposed to disqualify them from continued service on the bench, and Congress has the duty to see that this requirement is enforced, if those principles are seriously violated, through the mechanism of impeachment," Clymer concluded.
While Clymer's contentions may hold up in theory, Beau Baez, a professor of law with Concord School of Law in Los Angeles, told CNSNews.com that there is "practically zero chance" of a politically motivated impeachment succeeding.
"Thomas Jefferson tried it back in 1805 with another associate justice at the time - his name was Samuel Chase - primarily over a political squabble," Baez noted.
President George Washington appointed Chase, who was from Maryland, in 1796. At Jefferson's urging, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Chase, but the Senate refused to convict him.
"Ever since," Baez explained, "impeaching justices for unpopular opinions has pretty much been dead."
For a Supreme Court justice to actually face removal by the Senate, Baez added, would take much more than even a universally unpopular decision.
"It would probably take being convicted of a criminal act - like murder, fraud, theft - and then the justice refusing to resign," he said. "But I think if it's [an action] within their 'jurisdiction,' writing a legal opinion, expounding on the Constitution, it really becomes a political question."
At that point, Baez said, the political party in power would have to decide whether or not it wanted to risk retaliation from the current minority party in the future.
"One party may be in power today and may be able to boot a justice from the other party," he said. "But then, of course, four years or eight years later, it may be reversed.
"It's a dangerous game," Baez concluded, "because what goes around comes around."
Christianity gains nothing by the misrepresentation of history.
You can try to overload with information and articles I'm not yp for the game. In one example I have laid to rest one of your "sky is falling" references. I'll not lose any slepp because homosexuals can have sex with each other and you can't have them arrested.
Read my 8 and you will see that the real danger to our freedoms is the interpretation you take to the constitution and you subsequent surrendering to your state control over every aspect of your life. Thos of us who believe in liberty and the pursuit of happeness will not join your crusade.
As a citizen you have the obligation to participate in goverment at the state level to create a local government that meets your expectations. If you desire a fully libertine state where men can marry their sheep and smoke dope at government expense, get busy and do the hard work of persuading your fellow citizens why this should be desirable and elect representaives who will design a state in this fashion.
Your problem is that you're you're bone-idle lazy and incompetent. It's easier to whine and ask nanny government in the from of SCOTUS to chew your food for you.
Citizens such as yourself are worse than worthless. You are a pus-filled boil on the posterior of the body politic.
"Waaaah! Waaaah! Please Missus Ruthie! Please Missus Sandy! The big bad government won't let me pork my boyfriend in the butt. Waaaah! Save Me! Waaaaaaaaah!"
For four years you have misstated my position. I don't engage in homosexual sex, Kevin, in fact I don't much care for the thought of it, but I recognize the idea of freedom and that these people have the same right to do this as some heterosexual couples.
You can whine and ridicule that position all you want, but in the end, you either believe in freedom or you don't and it's clear that you don't.
First of all, states have no rights, only powers. Secondly, the people of the state should look to their own courts and Constitutions to protect against such abuses by state legislatures and executives, although in this case those things were pre-existing rights or powers of the people, and their retention of them is protected by the 9th amendment. There is no right to commit homosexual acts explicitly protected, and to argue that there is a right which pre-existed the Constitution to do so which is "retained" by the people, is pretty silly, especially in light of the fact that such practices were illegal in all of the 13 original states at the time. It was not protected by any laws, state Constitutions, nor those of the colonies of England itself.
It's also pretty silly to argue that anything anyone wants to do is a "fundamental right" not subject to any regulation by the states.
Irrelevant. Slavery was made illegal via a Constitutional ammendment. Womens property rights were brought to the current state by laws passed by the states, and in the case of Voting, by a constitutional amendment, the rest tended to flow from that, although much change also occurred before the amendment. Most of the laws and such were on matters, such as property rights, which are in the juridiction of the states, and that's were the changes were made, even absent a federal Equal Rights Amendment.
Where do some people get the idea that every social problem must be solved, or can be solved, at the federal level and that everything is the buisiness of the federal courts?
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