Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Time to Impeach a Supreme

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Presidents take great care in choosing Supreme Court Justices because they serve for life and can carry on a President's political philosophy long after he leaves the White House.  It is the Constitution that grants the Justices their jobs for life.  A lesser known fact regarding the Constitution and the people who serve on all Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, is that the document also contains a recourse for removing a really bad Justice from the Court.  That remedy is called impeachment.

The impeachment procedure for removing Federal Judges and Supreme Court Justices calls for  the House of Representatives bringing charges (impeaching) and the U.S. Senate trying the matter.  The Senate must cast 51 votes in order to convict and remove an individual from office.

Republicans like the idea of impeachment when they are trying to use the process.  They famously wasted several months of the nation's time back in the late 90's when the House brought two charges of impeachment against Bill Clinton for getting his knob polished by Monica Lewinsky in the White House.   However when Democrats started talking about impeaching Dick Cheney for legitimate causes a decade later the Republicans set up a howl to the heavens.

Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon is talking about pursuing the impeachment of Chief Justice John Roberts, based primarily on the Court's Citizens United ruling that is responsible for all of  the anonymous money flowing into the current election cycle - quite a bit of it apparently from multi-national and foreign corporations.

This is personal to Congressman DeFazio.  He is being outspent by a group called Concerned Taxpayers of America.   Apparently that "group" is comprised of two taxpayers - one who lives in Maryland and the other in New York.  Thanks to the Citizens United ruling, these two carpetbaggers can "legally" spend as much as they damned well please to defeat an Oregon Congressman.

It has been nearly two centuries since an attempt was made to impeach a Supreme Court Justice, and while the House did impeach Justice Samuel Chase for partisan political activity, the Senate did not convict him and Mr. Chase remained on the Supreme Court.  It is highly unlikely that DeFazio's efforts would even get that far.

But maybe Congressman DeFazio would fare better in his impeachment efforts if he were to switch targets.  Justice Clarence Thomas is suspect on many of his decisions, including Citizens United, due to his Wife's vile and salaried efforts on behalf of conservative causes.  Virginia Thomas made news a week or so ago when she called her husband's nemesis from his confirmation hearing, Professor Anita Hill, and left a voice message requesting an apology from Ms. Hill over things that she said about Clarence Thomas two decades earlier.

Professor Hill reported the very strange call to the FBI.

Ms. Thomas was trying to pull a stunt to get the conservatives more fired up for next month's elections.   What she in fact did, however, was to remind Americans about all of the sexual stuff that was brought up during the Thomas confirmation hearing.  Thomas, according to Ms. Hill, had an unusual interest in pornography, and talked inappropriately around women in the workplace.  And even though the Senate went on to confirm Clarence Thomas to the supreme Court, Anita Hill's testimony was damning, and the Justice is reviled by many women's groups to this day.

So Ginny Thomas called Anita Hill and asked for an apology for sworn testimony from twenty years ago.   Professor Hill declined to recant the truth - and now America is again chuckling at the reminders of Clarence Thomas's porn hero, Long Dong Silver.

But it gets worse for the Justice and his right-wing mouthpiece wife.  Now an old girlfriend of Justice Thomas has come forward and confirmed the things that Anita Hill told the Senate those many years ago.   Lillian McEwen told The Washington Post that back when she knew Clarence Thomas he was "obsessed with pornography,"  adding  "It was something he talked about quite frequently."   She also said that he had asked a colleague about her bra size, and that he was a regular at a shop in Washington DC's Dupont Circle that offered pornographic films."

Granting corporations the power to bankroll elections and stifle democracy may not be enough to justify impeachment, but surely bald-faced lying at your confirmation hearings ought to hit the mark for removal from office.  Congressman DeFazio needs to think about altering his target from Roberts to Thomas.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

To my dismay Chief Justice John Roberts has been more centrist than right wing. He will not be impeached.

One commentator last week spoke about Mrs. Thomas using 501(c)(3)funds for political purposes.

A 501(c)(3)organization is a charitable organization and there are restrictions for using those funds for political purposes.

Apparently Mrs. Thomas gets some of her money from a leadership position in the 501(c)(3). I am betting she and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas file a joint tax return. Something is smelling fishy here.

The standard for judges is to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Impeach Clarence Thomas, if you will you must first win these mid-term elections.