3.11.2010

"Porteous is one of a kind and it is time for him to receive his comeuppance"

The House of Representatives unanimously approved four articles of impeachment against Judge Thomas Porteus, a federal judge here in New Orleans.

He is the 15th judge found to have committed "high crimes and misdemeanors," the Constitution's criteria for impeachment and the second such vote in the last 20 years.

The matter now moves on the U.S. Senate, however - something the Times-Picayune article headline muddles a bit for the general public.  Importantly, Porteus hasn't yet actually been removed from office after the bills of impeachment have been submitted by the House.  As the article notes, though, only eight federal judges have ever been removed (convicted after impeachment by the Senate) in the history of the nation.


















Justice Samuel Chase, for example, is the only Supreme Court Justice ever to have articles of impeachment brought against him (amidst the Federalist/Jeffersonian Republicans tensions in 1804).  He was not convicted in the Senate.

Interestingly, I noted that Judge Porteous' portrait had already been taken down at the Eastern District of Louisiana U.S. Courthouse as of late February.