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    Speak Up! - View Question #408

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    Question: What is the role of federal judges and what are the laws governing federal judge impeachment?

    Answer: Article III, § 1 of the United States Constitution authorizes the creation of the federal judiciary. It states: 'The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.' Under this authority, Congress established 'inferior courts' that consist of trial courts and courts of appeal.

    Generally, the federal courts may hear several kinds of cases: civil and criminal actions that are based on federal law, civil actions where the parties are from different jurisdictions and the amount in controversy exceeds a certain prescribed amount, civil actions between states, civil actions against the United States or a foreign country, and cases affecting ambassadors. Article III, § 2, and several related federal statutes explain federal court jurisdiction.

    Article III, § 1 also provides that '[T]he Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Office during good Behaviour.' Thus, federal judges appointed under Article III are appointed for life and can only be removed by impeachment. Article I, § 2, cl. 5 grants the United States House of Representatives 'the sole Power of Impeachment.' Article I, § 3, cl. 6 of the Constitution gives the United States Senate the authority to try all impeachments. If the Senate convicts an impeached judge (which requires a two-thirds vote in favor of conviction), he may be removed from office and disqualified from any 'Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.' Art. I, § 3, cl. 7.

    1 thru 4 of 4 comments    [ 1 ]   
    On 02/25/04
    Shelley from FL said:
    I think the Congress should make an amendment to the constitution setting forth exact violations for impeachment of Judges. 1) Judges using another country's laws as a standard to overrule and/or establish a law for our country.(This has actually been done already - why aren't we screaming loud about this...the Americans don't know about it. 2) Any violation of a law that would normally oust any other governmental official from local to Washington, D.C. 2) Attempt to change the original intent of our constitution. 3) Attempt to change, remove, alter our national motos, anthems or monument
    On 02/24/04
    Eros Faust from FL said:
    The judiciary is now the most powerful branch of the federal government. As Justice Stone once said in the Prohibition Cases "...the only check on our own exercise of power is our own sense of self-restraint...” Unfortunately, federal courts, each building on the one before it, have incrementally abandoned the sense of restraint which they once had. Now they install Indian gaming where local residents have voted against it for years, finds that Congress lacks authority to control the growth of federal spending on illegal aliens etc. It is time to start electing federal judges.
    On 11/23/03
    ashley from NV said:
    It is time to reconsider Article III, Section I of the constitution, which gives federal judges lifetime appointments. Federal judges should be elected to their district for a limited term rather than appointed by the president for life. I know this goes against the system our forefathers setup in 1788 but that was two-hundred fifteen years ago. Lifetime tenure gives the president the temptation to pick a person who will generally take the same stance as he will encouraging the use of hardball tactics and giving the opposite party more reasons to block as many of the appointments as they can
    On 11/11/03
    Amanda from IA said:
    The constitution isn't clear on the reason's for impeachment. How can you impeach a judge without knowing specific reasons for impeaching them. What would be examples of the exact prohibited behavor?
    1 thru 4 of 4 comments    [ 1 ]   

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