Pennsylvania: House member circulating plan to impeach state supreme court for gerrymandering decision; latest in 13-year national trend to threaten impeachment for judicial rulings

The latest in a decade-long trend of threatening judges with impeachment for their decisions has now appeared in Pennsylvania. Recently 5 members of that state’s Supreme Court found the state’s congressional districts unconstitutional under the state’s constitution.

The court ordered the legislature and governor to come up with a new map or the court would devise its own.

In response, a member of the House is now circulating draft impeachment articles against the 5 justices for co-sponsorship. In the supporting memo, the lead sponsor claims.

This Order overrides the express legislative and executive authority, found in Article IV, Section 15 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, concerning the Governor’s veto authority and the General Assembly’s subsequent authority to override such veto. Article IV, Section 15 clearly lays out the path a bill must take to become law.

The five Justices who signed this order that blatantly and clearly contradicts the plain language of the Pennsylvania Constitution, engaged in misbehavior in office.

Wherefore, each is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office and disqualification to hold any office or trust or profit under this Commonwealth. I would ask you to please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

This is the latest in a decade or more of similar efforts that started around 2004 and peaked in 2011/2012 with a record number of such efforts (detailed here and here) when 14 bills in 7 states sought the impeachment of numerous judges, including the entire Superior Court of New Hampshire.