Arizona: chair of House Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy committee files bill to allow state legislature to remove federal judges in state from office

While Gavel to Gavel is focused on state legislation affecting state courts, I occasionally find and discuss state legislation affecting federal courts. Such as bill has just been filed in the Arizona House.

The U.S. Constitution provides federal “judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour”. The chair of the Arizona House Federalism, Property Rights and Public Policy committee has filed a bill that claims this gives the state’s legislature the power to remove “a federal judge who presides in this state” by declaring them not serving in good behavior.

HB 2282 of 2017 lists three causes for such a removal process

  1. A judicial act that is in blatant disregard of the original intent of the United States constitution or the laws of the United States.
  2. Professional or personal conduct that is unbecoming of a federal judge.
  3. Grossly lenient sentences for offenses in comparison to national trends for similar offenses.

HB 2282 has been filed in the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.