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a drive to impeach five U.S. Supreme Court justices
July 23, 2001 11:21 AM   Subscribe

a drive to impeach five U.S. Supreme Court justices "egregiously bad behavior, high crimes and misdemeanors.'' (Reuters --> Yahoo --> Plastic --> here)
posted by drunkkeith (45 comments total)

 
Let it go people. Let it go.
posted by a3matrix at 11:28 AM on July 23, 2001


Wake me up when they get a state legislature on board.
posted by rcade at 11:29 AM on July 23, 2001


I love it! the right of the people to demand and/or ask for justice---isn't this why we had our revolution? They may get nowhere, they may be wrong, but let their voices be heard! The "truth" wil perhaps this way see the light of day...
posted by Postroad at 11:31 AM on July 23, 2001


There is not one Congressman in Washington who'd be foolish enough to bring this before the house. They had a matter before them to judge, and they ruled, however wrongly. These people in Oregon might want to consider putting their energies towards a legitimate problem that they actually have some chance of solving.
posted by anapestic at 11:50 AM on July 23, 2001


I would like to hear exactly which high crime or misdemeanors are alleged. And what constitutes "egregiously bad behaviour" as well. They did their jobs, making a ruling on a point of law as they interpreted it. Unless they were bought off, I fail to see what they could possibly stand (legitimately) accused of. As a3matrix said, let it go, people. (Why not spend the time to try to find yourselves a reasonable candidate for the next time around, you know, maybe someone who can win even his own home state while campaigning on the issues.)
posted by Dreama at 11:51 AM on July 23, 2001


Yeah, I'm kinda with rcade and Postroad. They have zero chance of success: even the most partisan of Democrat in the House- which is still Republican, after all- wouldn't vote for impeachment of a SCJ, an unprecedented and uncomfortable intrusion onto the judiciary branch. Although I can't say that partisan Republicans would be equally hands off, since if the situation were reversed- Gore put in the Oval Office by the court- then it would be their holy duty to rid this Free Republic of the scourge of "liberal activist judges"... :)

That said, I wholly support their right to do this (and partly agree with them), and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if a state legislature or two actually put some fear of vox populi into the Supreme Court- remind them of who they really work for..
posted by hincandenza at 11:52 AM on July 23, 2001



*YAWN*
posted by fooljay at 12:04 PM on July 23, 2001


while campaigning on the issues

If you think . . .

No, wait. I'm a untier*, not a divider-upper - bait refused.

*Misspelling intentional
posted by BoyWithFez at 12:08 PM on July 23, 2001


So let's say we live in a magical fairy tale land where this group is successful in removing the justices. Who gets to pick their replacements? Some group in Oregon or George Bush?
posted by mathowie at 12:13 PM on July 23, 2001


as long as a convicted drunk driver with a history of coke use is running the show, everyone else in the gov't can get a way with murder.

wait... that wasn't a jab at that chandra levy thing. oops.
posted by jcterminal at 12:25 PM on July 23, 2001


They did their jobs, making a ruling on a point of law as they interpreted it.

Do you believe that the Supreme Court would have made the same ruling if Gore was ahead in Florida?
posted by rcade at 12:57 PM on July 23, 2001


I do -- they ruled that Florida had to use the rules established at the time of the election to count the votes. No changing the rules after the fact.

That's a very Republican view of things, and there wouldn't have been a change.

Still, had they not been called to judge, Bush would have won anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
posted by dwivian at 1:02 PM on July 23, 2001


Courtesy of The Nation: one of the best articles on what exactly happened in those once-hallowed halls of the Supreme Court...and why we all ought to be very, very angry.
posted by mapalm at 1:20 PM on July 23, 2001


isn't this why we had our revolution?

I thought we had the revolution because the wealthy land owners in the US colonies didn't want to pay back the money they borrowed from their European creditors.

Well, that and a lot of hyperbole about no taxation without representation and all.
posted by willnot at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2001


Courtesy of The Nation: one of the best articles on what exactly happened in those once-hallowed halls of the Supreme Court...and why we all ought to be very, very angry.

Hmm, perhaps that would be better rewritten as:

"Courtesy of The Nation: one of the best articles on what some people think happened in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court...and why we all ought to be very, very angry if we believe this account of the story"
posted by fooljay at 2:16 PM on July 23, 2001


no, fooljay - i stick by my earlier post, verbatim.
posted by mapalm at 2:28 PM on July 23, 2001


I do -- they ruled that Florida had to use the rules established at the time of the election to count the votes. No changing the rules after the fact. That's a very Republican view of things, and there wouldn't have been a change.

The decision in Bush v. Gore goes against everything Scalia and the other conservative jurists have brought to the court. Assuming that Scalia's well-established court writings are "Republican," the anti-states' rights, activist decision in this case is completely anti-Republican.

Here's a quote to chew on: "I consider it entirely possible that had Gore been challenging a recount ordered by a state supreme court at the behest of Bush, the conservative justices would have voted against Gore."

The author of the quote is Richard A. Posner, a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit who wrote a book defending the court's decision.

When even your friends admit that the case might have been rigged, how can anyone have confidence in this court?
posted by rcade at 2:48 PM on July 23, 2001


Courtesy of The Nation: one of the best articles... I must disagree. The author uses the following metaphor to describe an inconceivable situation: "a world in which ... Frenchmen no longer drink wine." Yuck!
posted by rschram at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2001


rschram...he's old school
posted by mapalm at 3:15 PM on July 23, 2001


I thought we had the revolution because the wealthy land owners in the US colonies didn't want to pay back the money they borrowed from their European creditors.

If that's true, than the Founding Fathers (many of whom were rich, and presumably leaders in this decision) were complete morons. Because a great many of them lost their personal fortunes as a result of the revolutionary war.

I think that if you look hard enough, you can see selfishness and corruption in anyone's motives. It's a matter of seeing what you want to see.
posted by gd779 at 3:17 PM on July 23, 2001


rschram...he's old school Its rather tortuted nonetheless, like most of the rest of the article...
posted by rschram at 3:17 PM on July 23, 2001


you can see selfishness and corruption in anyone's motives. It's a matter of seeing what you want to see. So I probably shouldn't read anything into the fact that they were all Freemasons...?
posted by rschram at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2001


rschram: They were also the founding members of the Illuminati. ;) Actually, according to Allen Roberts of freemasonry.org:

Myths on the other hand, can be... outright lies or the perpetuation of distortions handed down through the generations... Some of these corruptions have caused the Craft problems with creditable historians because they were outrageous lies.

At least one of these items concerns the "Masonic" membership of the founders of the United States. It is recirculated constantly in usually reliable Masonic periodicals. It not only should be, it must be destroyed.


Also: If you think the Founding Father's got involved in the war for personal or selfish reasons, just read the personal correspondence between John and Abagail Adams sometime.
posted by gd779 at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2001


Ok, so you all agree that had Gore been ahead in the Florida count that the conversative justices would have changed their rulings.

I assume you also agree that the liberal judges would have changed theirs, as well.
posted by obfusciatrist at 3:28 PM on July 23, 2001


Holy cow...whether you agree with the SCOTUS decision or not in the Prez case, can you imagine how horribly, terribly bad an impeachment effort would be? Think of the precedent it would set - any time that a sizable number (or small few?) of people disagree with the ruling of the Supreme Court, they could light a fire of impeachment and tie up the entire judicial branch for years, or decades, and entangle (probably) the entire governmental system in suits, countersuits, legal trickery, public relations campaigns, etc. If you thought the Clinton impeachment process was ugly - hah! Impeaching SCOTUS (or members thereof) would make Clinton's trial look like Judge Judy.

If the Supremes rule against, say, all abortion rights, will NARAL (et al) organize an impeachment campaign? Conversely, if abortion rights are upheld, will the right-wingers spring into full impeachment mode? Pick an issue, any issue...

There's a reason that that it is called the "SUPREME Court." They get to have the last word. As referenced earlier, unless something ILLEGAL has been done by a Justice, this impeachment talk is malarkey at best, and possibly scary.
posted by davidmsc at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2001


gd779: a great many of them lost their personal fortunes as a result of the revolutionary war.

Oh. God. Tell me you didn't get that from Rush, or Ann Landers, or any of these moralistic yahoos that drag out that faux-patriotic glurge every 4th of July. Here's a little debunking of the "lost their personal fortunes for signing the Constitution" from good ol' Snopes, which- I'm hoping- is not what you are thinking of. Regardless, however, it also was the case that many of the Founding Fathers were quite well off, and continued to be well- off after the war. Indeed, some of the rioting and looting they may have been the victims of were due to Americans who realized that during and after the Revolution, "Dang! Meet the new boss, same as the old boss". These common folk were no less pissed at the Founding Fathers than they were at the British anyway, because under either government they went without work, food, or land of their own. That's not to say the Founding Fathers weren't being somewhat selfless, but one need only look at the Constitution itself, and the Federalist papers, as well as other documents of the time to realize these people were elitists with utter contempt for the unwashed masses. Fawkin' Lockean bastards... :)
posted by hincandenza at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2001



Actually, don't you think we should do *something* to remind the Court that while they are made as apolitical as possible, they are not above the law.

Perhaps impeaching all five is going overboard, but think:

A justice who's relative had extraordinary ties with the Bush campaign. Another who wanted to retire under a conservative president, and expressed public dismay at the possibility of a Gore win.

These two obviously had conflicts of interest, and in the best interest of justice should have stepped down for this ruling. And the case can be made that they didn't because they knew how it would turn out if they did.

Should they be impeached for this? Probably not. But I think we should show that we are not afraid to consider action against a justice abusing their power for their own interests. These nine justices are not supposed to have free reign, these checks and balances are there for a reason.
posted by witchycal at 3:49 PM on July 23, 2001


I assume you also agree that the liberal judges would have changed theirs, as well.

The liberals on the court haven't built up a record in which they discovered equal protection for the first time in Bush v. Gore.

For this reason, it would be harder to find them guilty of such an obvious effort to subvert their own judicial principles in pursuit of partisan advantage.
posted by rcade at 6:29 PM on July 23, 2001


It amazes me how people allow themselves to be influenced by extreme left- or right-wing media.

Putting aside any and all biases, read this passage:
Also, since Boies already knew that Justice Scalia, the Court's right-wing ideologue; his Pavlovian puppet, Clarence Thomas, who doesn't even try to create the impression that he's thinking; and three other conservatives on the Court (William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy) intended to deodorize their foul intent by hanging their hat on the anemic equal protection argument,
This passage is ridculous, as is much of the article. Sure, these justices may not be completely impartial (everyone has biases), but to suggest that they are nothing more than the mindless mouthpieces of the right is pretty ridiculous.

Let's try to be open-minded here, huh?
posted by fooljay at 7:27 PM on July 23, 2001


Comparing the SCOTUS's conduct and liability in the electoral mess with other issues, such as abortion, is a non-starter, simply because it was a case of the judiciary de facto deciding the composition of the executive. (And it was that confluence of interests that made it a constitutional crisis.)
posted by holgate at 8:00 PM on July 23, 2001


anapestic: Please recite after me: "Congressmembers, congressmembers, members of Congress..."

NOT "Congressmen". Please.

That is all. Thank you.
posted by acridrabbit at 8:54 PM on July 23, 2001


Unwritten MeFi Rules, #342: using the wrong gender pronoun automatically invalidates your argument.

I dare anyone to say 'Congressmember' or 'Congressperson' out loud, with a straight face.
posted by darukaru at 3:18 AM on July 24, 2001


Let me see if I'm getting this right....

The Court decides to hear a case that presupposes that one person, who is not a voter in Florida, will be irrepairably harmed, by the continued counting of votes in Florida, as prescribed by Florida law and ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.

Now that same Court does not recognize the legitimate voters in Florida and their right to have every good vote be counted and further does not recognize the rights of the majority of the voters in America to have their votes count in the election process. All to favor one individual and that individual's supposed right to avoid "irrepairable harm" at the hands of a voting system that by it's very nature cannot guarantee uniformity.

The system of voting in Florida then invalidates all votes in the US and the rights of one person trumps the democratic system of government and the methods we use to elect representatives.
This same Court has it's own vested interests in the outcome of the process as well as family members who also are heavily invested in the outcome but are presenting a "fair and accurate" decision they are too ashamed to sign or have stand as precedent of law.

Naw, nothing going on there anyone should find suspect!

BTW, I'm never getting over the usurpation of democracy folks, so why don't you get over telling me to "get over it?"
posted by nofundy at 8:20 AM on July 24, 2001


I often prefer "congresscritter", as it doesn't discriminate against the shaved and trained housepets that seem to be elected from time to time. However, I may have to change that, as an increasing number of inanimate objects seem to be achieving high office.
posted by harmful at 8:38 AM on July 24, 2001


And don't forget, it's not human, it's hupeople. And women are womyn...
posted by fooljay at 4:03 PM on July 24, 2001


Well now, at least they aren't trying to impeach the president, eh?

And, I don't think a single one of you could possibly defend CT as a worthy justice. Granted, its not his fault that he ended up being the token black guy for one of the most powerful institutions in the world, but that doesn't excuse him for being quite possibly the worst representitive I know of for his race and nation.
posted by Ptrin at 4:55 PM on July 24, 2001


but that doesn't excuse him for being quite possibly the worst representitive I know of for his race and nation.

Oh my God, Ptrin, you must be either kidding or trolling...
posted by fooljay at 9:05 PM on July 24, 2001


Let me see if I'm getting this right....

Okay...

The Court decides to hear a case that presupposes that one person, who is not a voter in Florida, will be irrepairably harmed, by the continued counting of votes in Florida, as prescribed by Florida law and ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.

What case are you talking about? No case that I know of was filed on these grounds. Or is this just a drastically oversimplified and completely erroneous statement created to substantiate your opinion?

Now that same Court does not recognize the legitimate voters in Florida and their right to have every good vote be counted and further does not recognize the rights of the majority of the voters in America to have their votes count in the election process. All to favor one individual and that individual's supposed right to avoid "irrepairable harm" at the hands of a voting system that by it's very nature cannot guarantee uniformity.

No, no. The legitimate voters of Florida were recognized, they are called the legislature. You need to remember that YOU are not given the right to vote for the office of president anywhere in the Constitution - the legislature is. They have graciously granted the citizens the right to vote to influence their votes cast for president, a vote they can ignore if they wish. They also are given the EXCLUSIVE right to draft election laws. Remember these FACTS (read Artcile II of the Constitution), they are important.

The system of voting in Florida then invalidates all votes in the US and the rights of one person trumps the democratic system of government and the methods we use to elect representatives.

How so? The laws of Florida specifically give the right to certify votes to the Secretary of State and give guidlelines as to the timeframe for recounts. These were adhered to by the Secretary of State to the letter, with the Florida Sumpreme Court overroding her decision. This CLEARLY violated the separation of powers and also violated the legislature's Constitutional powers as granted to her. That, my friend, is the point that the Supreme Court case was filed on - not "irrepairable harm" as you stated above.

This same Court has it's own vested interests in the outcome of the process as well as family members who also are heavily invested in the outcome but are presenting a "fair and accurate" decision they are too ashamed to sign or have stand as precedent of law.

Wow, I'm glad the other side had no "vested interest" in seeing the decision go their way. If you think the Gore campaign was playing this game any cleaner you are sadly mistaken. They just happen to have a list of voters from a few particular districts sent to a telemarketing firm before the polls even closed to be used in making calls to tell (not ask) people that they may have voted incorrectly? Please! We could play this game for the next four years and it still results in the same ending.

I'm never getting over the usurpation of democracy folks, so why don't you get over telling me to "get over it?"

Having seen many of Gore's statements on what he considers parts of the Constitution that are "outdated" it comes as no surprose that his supporters have no respect for it's provisions either. If you think he gives a damn about Democracy you are, once again, sadly mistaken.

It took the Gore camp over four weeks to come up with the "count all the votes" mantra. Previous to that they insisted that ONLY the four counties that they chose would be recounted. It was only when it became apparent that those four would NOT win him the election that they began talking about recounting the whole state. And since several independent groups, both pro-Gore and pro-Bush have recounted the the entire state and determined, once again, that Bush tallied the most votes - what exactly is the issue here?
posted by RevGreg at 10:57 PM on July 24, 2001


RevGreg, please try to leave them some hope. They've got so much vested in the belief that they were screwed. I'd hate for one post to disappoint them and deprive them of their daily motivation...

What we talk about on Metafilter then??
posted by fooljay at 12:29 AM on July 25, 2001


RevGreg writes:
[...]Bush tallied the most votes - what exactly is the issue here?

Fuck yes - he would've won anyway.
So,
Trade the eagle for an ostrich.
We can always switch back.
Can't we?
posted by Opus Dark at 1:49 AM on July 25, 2001


Having seen many of Gore's statements on what he considers parts of the Constitution that are "outdated" it comes as no surprose that his supporters have no respect for it's provisions either.

I'd love to see one of these alleged statements by Gore. It sounds like the kind of laughable accusations that get passed around in e-mail, like the hoax about him calling Christians a "blight on the environment" on page 342 of Earth in the Balance. Even with the page number reference -- which makes it easy to check -- the false claim appears all over the place.

And since several independent groups, both pro-Gore and pro-Bush have recounted the the entire state and determined, once again, that Bush tallied the most votes - what exactly is the issue here?

We don't know who got the most votes, because numerous counties in Florida never even recounted once. Despite your claim that Katherine Harris followed the letter of the law throughout the process, she allowed numerous counties to conduct no recount at all. She allowed others -- especially in Republican counties in Central Florida -- to take machine-unreadable absentee ballots and get election workers to redo the votes on a clean ballot. Gee, no opportunity for fraud there. Many counties ran the same numbers through the computer twice instead of following the law and inspecting ballots the machines didn't read successfully.

That's just two examples among many that put to the lie the idea that legitimate votes were all counted and Bush got more. Bush never gave us a chance to find that out, because he used the Supreme Court to shut down Florida's effort to count votes.
posted by rcade at 5:48 AM on July 25, 2001


I'd love to see one of these alleged statements by Gore.

During the debates Gore stated that "in my view the Constitution ought to be interpreted as a document that grows with our country and our history." In other words, he feels it should be rewritten and reinterpreted constantly in light of the current needs of the country. If that were the case we might as well not have a Constitution if it is going to be subject to the whim of the moment. The very strength of the Constitution is that it is very difficult to amend and it should be interpreted in the light of the intent of the authors, not the readers. Gore obviously differs with me greatly on this point.

Despite your claim that Katherine Harris followed the letter of the law throughout the process, she allowed numerous counties to conduct no recount at all.

Sorry, machine recounts were required by law in ALL counties and were done.

She allowed others -- especially in Republican counties in Central Florida -- to take machine-unreadable absentee ballots and get election workers to redo the votes on a clean ballot.

Yes, and the courts in Flordia ascertained that there was no wrongdoing under Florida election law and no evidence of the fraud you are claiming.
posted by RevGreg at 9:36 AM on July 25, 2001


In other words, he feels it should be rewritten and reinterpreted constantly in light of the current needs of the country.

You mean, the way you've re-written and reinterpreted his own statement to suit your own political needs?

Hoist by your own petard, reverend.
posted by holgate at 9:58 AM on July 25, 2001


You said originally that Gore described parts of the Constitution as "outdated." His comment from the debate doesn't even come close to saying that.

Sorry, machine recounts were required by law in ALL counties and were done.

As the Washington Post reported in June, 18 of the 67 counties in Florida never recounted the ballots. All they did was checked the counting mechanisms on their voting machines to determine whether they matched the Nov. 7 results.

Additionally, 26 counties disqualified ballots if people voted for a candidate and wrote the same candidate's name on their ballots -- a circumstance where the intent of the voter is clear and should be counted, according to Florida law.
posted by rcade at 12:16 PM on July 25, 2001


You mean, the way you've re-written and reinterpreted his own statement to suit your own political needs?

Hoist by your own petard, reverend.


Which is EXACTLY what you are doing with the Supreme Court decision and the election mess. I have disliked Gore's positions since before he was Vice President and he has done nothing to change my mind, so, yes, I interpret his words in the harshest manner I can - in my eyes he has done a pretty good job of doing exactly the opposite of what I would like to see done.

Additionally, 26 counties disqualified ballots if people voted for a candidate and wrote the same candidate's name on their ballots

And has ANY proof of intentional fraud been found? Has any court upheld any allegations of fraud? I think you'd be shocked if you looked at the way votes are counted all across the country, it isn't much better than what went on in Florida. You should be glad that something happened to shake up the system, it has needed reforming for some time.
posted by RevGreg at 2:02 PM on July 25, 2001


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