Can a Supreme Court Justice be impeached?

Sexual assault allegation now in the spotlight following New York Times article

By Jack Roskopp - Graham Media Group

(Photo by Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in to the Supreme Court about a year ago, but a newly investigated allegation in a New York Times report has people calling for his impeachment. 

The article from the New York Times alleges that Kavanaugh was involved with another incident of sexual assault, this time when he was in college at Yale. It also alleges that the FBI did not fully investigate these accusations at the time of Kavanaugh's confirmation due to orders from the White House and Senate Republicans. 

This bombshell report has people of both sides of the aisle fired up, with many Democrats calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment, saying he perjured himself during his testimony. On the other side, Republican leaders and President Doanld Trump are defending Kavanaugh, much like they did during his conformation hearings.

Democratic leadership has brought up impeachment proceedings on President Trump multiple times, and two presidents have been impeached in America's history, but can the government actually impeach a Supreme Court justice who holds a lifetime position?

The simple answer is, yes. The process of impeaching a Supreme Court justice is very similar to impeaching a president. The House of Representatives would have to bring up charges against the justice. A majority of the House must agree on an indictment to impeach, and a two-thirds super majority of the U.S. Senate must agree on impeaching the justice as well. 

Democrats hold the majority in the House, so they technically could begin the process, but many moderate Democrats would like to see an investigation completed first before rushing to impeachment. Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said on TV Sunday that while she opposed Kavanaugh's nomination, she'd like to see an investigation before impeachment proceedings start. 

Other presidential candidates are calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment. Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted "Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached," and Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted, "He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached."

 

 

 

 

 

On the other side, President Trump said Kavanaugh "should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue."

It would also be increasingly difficult to impeach Kavanaugh in the Senate as long as Republicans have control. Democrats may have to wait until after the 2020 election and hope they can flip the Senate if they want to impeach Kavanaugh. 

If the House wants to impeach the justice, it would mostly come down to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision. Given her hesitation to move forward with impeaching President Trump, Pelosi will most likely want an investigation done before impeachment proceedings begin against Kavanaugh. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Media Group 2019