WASHINGTON – as a government lawyer a generation ago, Brett Kavanaugh sought to impeach a sit president. As a commonwealth judge creating in a law review a te later, that staunchly safeguarded the impeachment process.

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And critical year, throughout a Senate confirmation hearing that concentrated on allegations of sexual assault versus him indigenous the early on 1980s, Kavanaugh warned senators the "what goes around comes around."

Now the topic of impeachment has come about again, not with President Donald trump card in the crosshairs however with Kavanaugh. Autonomous presidential candidates space calling because that him to it is in impeached after ~ The New York Times published an essay containing brand-new allegations of sex-related misconduct indigenous his time as a Yale undergraduate.

The battered copy of the Constitution the Kavanaugh carried to his check hearings provides clear that commonwealth judges, like various other officials, have the right to be impeached. 


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Article II, section 4 says the president and also other civil officers can be impeached and convicted because that "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." The first section of short article III claims judges "shall hold their offices during good behavior."

Even prior to Kavanaugh"s confirmation critical October, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned around future investigations if Democrats to be to take end the House. Castle did just that the following month and Nadler now chairs the Judiciary Committee that might draw up short articles of impeachment.


"If the is on the supreme Court and also the Senate hasn"t investigated, then the residence will have actually to," Nadler said then about the sex-related misconduct allegations Kavanaugh denied. "We would have to investigate any kind of credible allegations, definitely of perjury and also other points that haven"t been appropriately looked into before."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a member the the Senate Judiciary Committee whose current friend-of-the-court brief challenging the can be fried Court"s legitimacy was anything but friendly, sound a similar warning in ~ the time: "As shortly as Democrats acquire gavels, we"re walk to want to get to the bottom the this."


The difficulty for democracy is that they organize gavels just in the House, where a simple majority vote was sufficient to impeach President bill Clinton two decades ago. Conviction in the Senate would take a two-thirds vote, and also Democrats lack even a majority. 

Senate bulk Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday dubbed impeachment a "laughable suggestion." Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman lindsey Graham vowed the Kavanaugh will certainly not be impeached "over these scurrilous accusations."

The procedure for impeaching a federal judge or can be fried Court justice works much as it would certainly for a president, through one vital difference: The angry president, as president of the Senate, would certainly preside – no the chef justice that the unified States.

A home investigative panel would have actually the strength to compel the testimony of witnesses and gather documents. That probe can be broader than the sexual harassment allegations, and the constitutional threshold for impeachment – "high crimes and misdemeanors" – isn"t minimal to criminal wrongdoing.

There is no indication native Congress the an effort to formally start the procedure will happen, though several Democrats have voiced assistance for impeachment.

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Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California referred to as for Kavanaugh"s impeachment on Sunday. Both democrats are at this time running for president. 

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas, stated on ABC"s "This Week," "I think that complies with up v the fairly shameful circus we saw during the confirmation hearing," including that calls for Kavanaugh"s impeachment to be "another sign of how nasty and also divided the time is."

Senate bulk Leader Mitch McConnell, who has actually made enhancing the variety of conservative judge a major political goal, pledged his support to Kavanaugh. 

U.S. District Judge cutting board Porteous, a Clinton appointee from Louisiana, to be the last federal judge to it is in impeached. That was convicted in the Senate of four counts, including a charge that that misled the FBI and the Senate during his check process. Porteous was the 16th commonwealth judge to be impeached and the eighth to it is in convicted. 

Only once has a Supreme Court justice been impeached. Samuel Chase, a Federalist justice appointed by president George Washington, was impeached by a Democratic-Republican residence in 1804 for "arbitrary, oppressive, and also unjust" decisions on the court.

The Senate decreased to eliminate him indigenous office, setup a criterion that exist to this day. As previous Chief Justice william Rehnquist noted in a 1992 book around the case, "it assured the independence of federal judges from congressional oversight of the decisions they made in the cases that came prior to them."


Kavanaugh, in his Minnesota legislation Review article from 2009, provided that federal judges" life tenure "justifies a more searching inspection by the Senate right into their fitness and also qualifications for office."