I mentioned last week that the Pennsylvania House was starting to take the formal steps for impeachment of State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin after her felony convictions in February. HR 159, filed March 15, would authorize the House Judiciary Committee and its Courts Subcommittee to investigate with an eye towards impeachment.
15 members of the Pennsylvania House, however, are seeking to skip the investigation and move right to impeachment; the number may go up as the legislature’s bill tracking system is updated. According to Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, State Representative Brandon Neuman started circulating March 12, 3 days before the investigation resolution, a resolution outright impeaching Orie Melvin. The sponsorship memo reads in part:
Joan Orie Melvin has been convicted of an infamous crime. The Constitution forbids individuals from sitting on the Supreme Court if they have been convicted of an infamous crime. As such, my resolution would impeach Joan Orie Melvin, Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, immediately so that a trial can be held in the Senate without delay.
The “infamous crime” provision refers to a clause in the state constitution that “All civil officers shall hold their offices on the condition that they behave themselves well while in office, and shall be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.”
The Neuman resolution with his name and that of 14 others appears set to be assigned House Resolution number 173, although as of this writing there is no text yet available.