On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
81°
Partly Cloudy
H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    81°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    81°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    74°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 84° L 74°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Can a Supreme Court Justice be impeached?
Close

Can a Supreme Court Justice be impeached?

Can a Supreme Court Justice be impeached?
WASHINGTON, DC - Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo By Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Can a Supreme Court Justice be impeached?

Following an article posted by The New York Times this weekend, several Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on allegations of sexual misconduct from his time as a student at Yale University.

On Sunday, the Times reported that Kavanaugh faced a separate allegation of sexual assault from his undergraduate days and that the FBI did not investigate the claim. However, the story has come under some scrutiny.

The Times tweeted a promotion for the story, which they later deleted and apologized for, then added an editor's note to the online story explaining that the female student mentioned in the new claim declined to be interviewed about the allegations and that friends say she does not recall the incident.

The Times' article was an excerpt from a book about Kavanaugh that is to come out in a couple of weeks.

Kavanaugh fought sexual assault allegations prior to his confirmation by the Senate last October, facing many in Congress who said he was unfit for the position.

Amid the renewed call from Democratic candidates and others in Congress, many are asking if and how a Supreme Court justice, who is appointed to the position for life, can be removed from the bench.

Here's a look at the impeachment process for sitting federal judges and others.

>> Read more trending news 

Can a Supreme Court justice be impeached?

Yes, a Supreme Court justice can be impeached. Article II Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to impeach federal judges and gives to the U.S. Senate the right to vote to remove judges who have been impeached.

The section reads: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Judges are considered part of the "all civil Officers of the United States" portion of the section.

What can a Supreme Court justice be impeached for?

The Constitution lays out two specific actions and one vague description of something that could lead to impeachment and removal of a justice from the bench.

The Constitution says a person may be removed from office for convictions of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

While treason and bribery are spelled out, high crimes and misdemeanors are a little vaguer. High crimes and misdemeanors are generally seen as a violation of the public's trust. Sexual assault would fall under that category.

How does impeachment work?

Impeachment for justices works the same way as impeachment for a president or vice president would work.

Here are the steps in the process for impeaching a federal justice:

In the House

  1. First, an impeachment resolution must be introduced by a member of the House of Representatives.
  2. The speaker of the House must then direct the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary (or a special committee) to hold a hearing on the resolution to decide whether to put the measure to a vote by the full chamber and when to hold such a vote.
  3. A simple majority of the Judiciary Committee must approve the resolution.
  4. If the Judiciary Committee approves the resolution, it moves to a full vote on the House floor.
  5. If a simple majority of the those present and voting in the House approve an article of impeachment, then the justice is impeached.

In the Senate

  1. The procedure then moves to the Senate where a "trial" is held to determine if the justice committed a crime.
  2. There is no set procedure for the trial. Details outlining how the trial is conducted would be set by the Senate leadership.
  3. Members of the House serve as "managers" in the Senate trial. Managers serve a similar role as prosecutors do in a criminal trial, they present evidence during the procedure.
  4. The justice can have counsel to represent him during the Senate process.
  5. Unlike in the trials of an impeached president or vice president, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court would not preside over the trial of a justice. In an impeachment trial of a Supreme Court justice, the vice president would oversee the proceedings.
  6. Senators listen to the evidence presented, including closing arguments from each side and retire to deliberate.
  7. Senators then reconvene and vote on whether the justice is guilty or not guilty of the actions he is accused of. It takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict. If the justice is found guilty, he is removed from office immediately.
  8. The result of the hearing in the Senate, along with a charge in the House that a justice has committed a crime is not a legal one. No penalty, other than removal from office, is brought against a justice in an impeachment hearing.

Has any Supreme Court justice been impeached?

Samuel Chase, who was appointed by President George Washington, was impeached in 1804 for "arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust" decisions on the court. The Senate declined to remove Chase from office on the House's recommendation of impeachment, saying a justice should not be removed from the court because his or her decisions are not popular.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • The next Democratic debate – the party's fourth one – will be held on Tuesday in Ohio, and will feature the 12 candidates who qualified for the event. >> Read more trending news  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, had threatened to cut the crowd on the stage by one as she complained that the corporate news media and the Democratic National Committee were rigging the event. Gabbard tweeted last week that 'The DNC and corporate media are trying to hijack the entire election process,' Gabbard said in a video posted on Twitter. 'In order to bring attention to this serious threat to our democracy, and ensure your voice is heard, I am giving serious consideration to boycotting the next debate on October 15th.' On Gabbard's website, she referred to the allegations that the DNC rigged the 2016 primary process in favor of former Sec.of State Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. On Monday, she told her supporters in an email that she would be going to Ohio for the debate. 'I just want to let you know that I will be attending the debate,' she wrote. Here's what we know about Tuesday's debate: Who is in? These 12 candidates have qualified for the October debate so far: Former Vice President Joe Biden Sen. Cory Booker, of New Jersey  South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro  Sen. Kamala Harris, of California  Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota  Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, of Texas  Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont  Philanthropist and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts  Entrepreneur Andrew Yang  Where will they stand? The candidates will stand in order of the average of their 10 most recent qualifying polls as of Oct. 2. The order is from left to right: Gabbard, Steyer, Booker, Harris, Sanders, Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, Yang, O'Rourke, Klobuchar, Castro. What were the criteria for candidates to qualify? According to the DNC, to qualify for the debate in October, candidates must have 2% in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 individual donors with at least 400 donors per state in at least 20 states. Campaigns had until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1 to meet the donor and polling thresholds to be included. When and where is the debate being held? The debate is set for Tuesday at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. All 12 candidates will appear on stage on Tuesday. There will be no second night of the debate. At the beginning of the process, the DNC said that only 10 candidates would take the stage at a time. Who will be asking the questions? CNN and The New York Times are the hosts for the debate. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and Times national editor Marc Lacey will be asking the questions. How can I watch/listen to the debate? According to CNN: The debate will air exclusively on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, and stream on the CNN homepage and the New York Times homepage. In addition, the debate will be available across mobile devices via CNN's and New York Times' apps for iOS and Android, via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV, SiriusXM Channels 116, 454, 795, the Westwood One Radio Network and National Public Radio. Live coverage will be provided here beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. What time is it on? The debate will begin at 8 p.m. ET. What about future debates? The next debate will be held in November, and the qualifications have become stricter.  To be included in the November debate, candidates must demonstrate they have 165,000 unique donors, and must either score 3 percent in at least four national or state polls approved by the party or by receiving at least 5 percent in two approved single-state polls from Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire or South Carolina. [Summary]
  • A 13-month-old Georgia girl is recovering after a man in a fit of rage over a fender-bender fired at a car and shot her in the hand last week, the child's mother said.  >> Read more trending news  Raylah was in her car seat Oct. 6 when her mother's friend got in a minor accident while the toddler was in the back seat. The man whose car she hit started shooting, injuring Raylah, police said. Police said they're still looking for the shooter.  WSB-TV's Christian Jennings talked to the toddler's mother about what led to the shooting. For their safety, she requested that Jennings only use her and her daughter's first names.  Natika told Jennings that her friend was driving that afternoon. When they got in the area of Fletcher and Ira streets, her friend accidentally hit an SUV.  'The mirror fell out of it, and I'm, like, 'You just hit someone's car,'' Natika said.  Natika said a man in a nearby house came running outside with a gun and demanded money. 'He's, like, 'That's going to be $300.' My friend is, like, 'I'm not going to be able to give you $300. Can we exchange insurance information?'' Things escalated from there, she said. 'He was getting irate, and I asked him before everything was over, I was like, 'Don't shoot.' Because I saw him clutching for his gun in his satchel,' Natika said. 'I said, 'Don't shoot, my baby's in the car.' Her pleas didn't work: Police said the man started firing.  'All I could hear was gunshots coming from everywhere,' Natika said.  She said she quickly realized her baby had been shot.  'My baby's full of blood, so I don't know if she's hit in the chest, but she's still not crying, so I didn't know if she was alive,' Natika said.  Raylah had been shot in the hand, her mother said. The child's finger was broken. Natika and her friend headed for the hospital, but didn't make it, she said.  'She feels the tires going out, because at this point the tires are shot out,' Natika said. 'It took us right off Fulton Street and it completely stopped as we were getting out. It actually caught fire.' Natika said they flagged down another driver and finally made it to a hospital.  Raylah is going to fully recover from her injuries.  Natika said the man who shot her daughter doesn't deserve to be out on the streets.  'I hope and pray he can at least turn himself in, or the police can do their job, stay on top of it and find him, because he clearly is a ticking time bomb,' Natika said.  Police have not released a description of the suspect but said they do have leads. 
  • Authorities said a Florida man stole more than $10,000 from customers while working as a server at several restaurants in Brevard County. >> Read more trending news  The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Kevin Harris stole 25 customers' credit cards by taking photos of the card's numbers when he processed their bills. Deputies said he used the credit cards to make online purchases exceeding $10,000. The Sheriff's Office said Harris also would use the credit card numbers to purchase gift cards to pay the bills of customers who paid in cash. Investigators said Harris also stole from 10 retail businesses in Brevard County. They said he would take the stolen items to local pawn shops to pawn the items for cash, making more than $6,000. Harris was arrested and taken to the Brevard County Jail, where he is held on no bail status.
  • A woman who shot and killed a popular street performer outside the H.E. Holmes MARTA station three years ago is headed to prison.  >> Read more trending news  Lucianna Fox, 44, fatally shot 54-year-old Leroy Midyette in Nov. 5, 2016, after running over the homeless man’s shopping cart twice. Midyette, who performed outside the train station, was affectionately known as “Tin Man” because of the silver paint he wore when he danced, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Friday in a news release. The night of the shooting, Fox got mad at Midyette as he pushed his belongings across an access road that led into the parking lot of the Holmes station, authorities said. Fox told him to move his cart out of the road and Midyette motioned for the woman to drive around.Instead, Fox slammed into Midyette’s cart, threw her car in reverse and rammed it again before driving off. Upset, Midyette ran toward Fox’s car as she waited at a nearby stop sign and confronted her. Fox then got out of her car, drew a silver handgun and shot the homeless man in the chest from about 2 feet away, prosecutors said. She then set her weapon on the hood of her car and waited for police to arrive as Midyette died in the street. The entire incident was captured on MARTA’s surveillance cameras, and Fox was arrested at the scene, authorities said. She was convicted of murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony and sentenced to life in prison plus five years. 
  • Court documents filed against an Indianapolis man accused of violently assaulting his mother with a cast iron frying pan last month give gruesome details of how badly the woman was beaten. Bobby Wayne Gibson Jr., 44, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, strangulation and auto theft, according to Marion County court records. A judge last week ordered him held in lieu of a $90,000 surety bond. Gibson was also ordered to stay away from his mother, for whom an order of protection was granted, court records show. >> Read more trending news  Gibson was arrested Sept. 25 after an anonymous tip led police to a vacant home, where he told officers his mother had given him her car, a silver Chevy Malibu, to sell for drugs, WRTV in Indianapolis reported. Fox 59 reported that a SWAT standoff earlier in the day, which included tear gas and flash grenades, had failed to turn up the fugitive. Gibson had been on the run since the day before, when police officers went to his mother’s home and found her unresponsive and covered in blood, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WRTV. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. According to the affidavit, her injuries included “multiple skull and facial fractures, three lacerations in the head that penetrated to the skull, exposed brain matter due to a hole in the skull, four deep lacerations to the chest and a collapsed lung.” Her condition was not immediately available Friday afternoon. Detectives who went to her home found blood spattered throughout the kitchen and living room, along with “broken glass, broken kitchen utensils and a bloody cast-iron frying pan with a broken handle,” the document said. Blood was on the carpet, the telephone and the walls in both rooms. Gibson’s mother, who was able to speak to detectives at the hospital, told them an argument began when she spotted a bottle of vodka in her son’s pocket and told him he was not allowed to drink in her home, WRTV reported. She told police she poured the vodka out and told her son, who has a criminal record, “The court needs to do something with you.” “You wanna lock me up? I’m gonna give you something to lock me up,” she said Gibson responded, according to the affidavit. The victim told detectives Gibson attacked her, choking her until she lost consciousness. When she came to, he was beating and kicking her and hitting her with pots and pans from the kitchen, the news station reported. Gibson demanded her purse, so she told him where it was, and he left in her car, WRTV reported. A silver car could be seen in photos taken by a Fox 59 reporter during the Sept. 25 SWAT situation on the city’s south side. Authorities at the scene told the news station Gibson had forced his way into the home, where his wife was staying. She fled the house and called 911, Fox 59 reported. When the tear gas and flash grenades failed to get anyone to come outside, officers went in and found the house empty, the news station said. Gibson was taken into custody a few hours later.

The Latest News Videos