It is barely March, and already there have been more bills seeking the removal of judges in 2011 than in any year in recent memory. As I noted in a special December 2010 edition of Gavel to Gavel, while threats to impeach state court judges have increased, it has only been in the last several years that actual bills have been drafted and submitted.
All told, 10 judges (9 state, 1 federal) are the target of impeachment or removal efforts in the state legislatures this year. This is in addition to the threats to impeach Iowa’s supreme court justices made earlier in the year that have not materialized as articles of impeachment.
|State||Bill||Form of removal||Target||Reason for removal request|
|Massachusetts||HB 2172||Bill of address||Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland||Unknown|
|Massachusetts||HB 2172||Bill of address||Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis X. Spina||Unknown|
|Massachusetts||HB 2172||Bill of address||Supreme Judicial Court Justice Judith A. Cowin||Unknown|
|Massachusetts||HB 2172||Bill of address||Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert J. Cordy||Unknown|
|New Hampshire||HR 7||Impeachment||Marital Master Phillip Cross||Decisions in custody/divorce cases|
|New Hampshire||HR 7||Impeachment||“any justice of the New Hampshire superior court”||Decisions in custody/divorce cases|
|New Jersey||SR 105||Impeachment||Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto||Refusal to vote in some cases|
|Oklahoma||HR 1001||Request for removal by judicial disciplinary commission||District Judge Thomas Bartheld||Failure to reject negotiated plea bargain in child sex abuse case|
|Oklahoma||HR 1005||Impeachment request to Congress||U.S. District Court Judge Vickie Miles-LaGrange||“Abuse of authority” for issuing an injunction against state’s sharia law ban|
|Oklahoma||HR 1006||Request for removal by judicial disciplinary commission||District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure||36 felony counts, including four counts of perjury and 32 counts of fraudulent claim|