The Porteous Impeachment

Today the House impeached U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. (E.D.La.) on four counts of high crimes and misdemeanors. As the roll call votes indicate, there was overwhelming support for impeachment and no votes against it (the votes were 412-0, 410-0, 416-0, and 423-0).

Nonetheless, the “hundred-ton gun” of impeachment required over 26 months to load before today’s votes. Way back in December 2007, the Fifth Circuit’s Judicial Council, by majority vote, referred Porteous to the Judicial Conference. It noted its view that Porteous had engaged in conduct that “might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment under article II of the Constitution.” Before that, DOJ had filed a complaint concerning Porteous with the Judicial Council in May 2007.

The House can impeach with alacrity when it chooses to. It proved that much with the recent impeachment of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent (S.D. Texas).

Any bets on when the Senate will actually get around to trying and convicting Porteous?

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