Rep. Peter DeFazio Investigating Impeachment For Chief Justice John Roberts

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Rep. Peter DeFazio

From the Huffington Post:

With Democrats increasingly outraged over the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited corporate spending in elections — a change conservatives have been more successful at taking advantage of — a Democratic congressman is raising the prospect of impeaching the Supreme Court’s chief justice over the issue.

“I mean, the Supreme Court has done a tremendous disservice to the United States of America,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. “They have done more to undermine our democracy with their Citizens United decision than all of the Republican operatives in the world in this campaign. They’ve opened the floodgates, and personally, I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

In his 2005 confirmation hearings, Roberts famously said, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.”

According to DeFazio, Roberts hasn’t stood by his own doctrine. He pointed to former Justice John Paul Stevens’s dissent in the case, in which he said the Citizens United case was not properly brought before the Supreme Court. “This procedure is unusual and inadvisable for a court,” Stevens said of the process. “Our colleagues’ suggestion that ‘we are asked to reconsider Austin and, in effect, McConnell,” ante, at 1, would be more accurate if rephrased to state that ‘we have asked ourselves’ to reconsider those cases.”

“Justice Stevens makes the point that Roberts decided a case that wasn’t even before the Court, and invited the issue before the Court,” said DeFazio. “It was the most extraordinary condemnation I’ve ever read of a perverted majority on the Supreme Court, at least in recent years.”

DeFazio was re-elected on Tuesday, by the way.  Read more here.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Awesome! Oregon people should be proud of De Fazio! Someone with the cajones to stand up for what’s right!

    Even if the historical record of such proceedings doesn’t point to Roberts getting thrown out, this is still a necessary symbolic gesture for the pols to take a position. Let’s see how the faux populist Tea Baggers deal with this one . . .

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Awesome! Oregon people should be proud of De Fazio! Someone with the cajones to stand up for what’s right!

    Even if the historical record of such proceedings doesn’t point to Roberts getting thrown out, this is still a necessary symbolic gesture for the pols to take a position. Let’s see how the faux populist Tea Baggers deal with this one . . .

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Chief Justice John Roberts is a goddamn traitor to the people of this country. He pulled the last straw.
    Democracy breathed its last breath the day that decision was made.
    Utter scum….He deserves his carrer to crash and burn in disgrace…..

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Amen! I hope Oregon people continue to support De Fazio here!

  • Anonymous

    Chief Justice John Roberts is a goddamn traitor to the people of this country. He pulled the last straw.
    Democracy breathed its last breath the day that decision was made.
    Utter scum….He deserves his carrer to crash and burn in disgrace…..

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Amen! I hope Oregon people continue to support De Fazio here!

  • Graham David Michael

    I support Rep. Peter De Fazio. Can’t we start some kind of petition to show our support. We need to let them know that the American people are sick of these games.

  • Graham David Michael

    I support Rep. Peter De Fazio. Can’t we start some kind of petition to show our support. We need to let them know that the American people are sick of these games.

  • Haystack

    The Citizen’s United decision was an abortion and I’d support a constitutional amendment to fix it, but it’s not reason to impeach a Supreme Court justice. DeFazio says:

    “I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

    That sounds like the same logic the Republicans would use to oust a justice who voted in favor of gay marriage. Do we really want to open this can of worms?

  • Haystack

    The Citizen’s United decision was an abortion and I’d support a constitutional amendment to fix it, but it’s not reason to impeach a Supreme Court justice. DeFazio says:

    “I’m investigating articles of impeachment against Justice Roberts for perjuring during his Senate hearings, where he said he wouldn’t be a judicial activist, and he wouldn’t overturn precedents.”

    That sounds like the same logic the Republicans would use to oust a justice who voted in favor of gay marriage. Do we really want to open this can of worms?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Got a little news for them…it ain’t just the Dems. Every mofo with even a part of his head screwed on straight knows that decision was a disaster AND a legally unsupportable fraud that only slid by based on the partisanship of Republican appointees. With the solitary exception of the GOP…which benefited greatly from all those free ad dollars this year…everyone else looks at that case and runs away screaming in horror. If they ever manage to impeach Roberts…it shouldn’t end there…it should be followed by a trip in front of a jury, followed by a firing squad for high crimes and misdemeanors against the United States. Never has a mere judge committed treason so pathetically, or for so crass a reason.

    And while they’re at it…take ‘Justice’ Thomas out and finish him off like they did with Mussolini. That bag of shit was the most humiliating moment the court has ever known. He shouldn’t even be allowed to wash the rest of their cars.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Got a little news for them…it ain’t just the Dems. Every mofo with even a part of his head screwed on straight knows that decision was a disaster AND a legally unsupportable fraud that only slid by based on the partisanship of Republican appointees. With the solitary exception of the GOP…which benefited greatly from all those free ad dollars this year…everyone else looks at that case and runs away screaming in horror. If they ever manage to impeach Roberts…it shouldn’t end there…it should be followed by a trip in front of a jury, followed by a firing squad for high crimes and misdemeanors against the United States. Never has a mere judge committed treason so pathetically, or for so crass a reason.

    And while they’re at it…take ‘Justice’ Thomas out and finish him off like they did with Mussolini. That bag of shit was the most humiliating moment the court has ever known. He shouldn’t even be allowed to wash the rest of their cars.

  • Argosy Jones

    I’m pretty sure DeFazio is blowing smoke. With republicans in control of all house committees it won’t even be going to the senate, which would require a 2/3 majority to remove Roberts. This is the equivalent of Pelosi’s discussion of impeaching Bush while she was the minority leader of the House– It’ll continue to be talked about until it becomes possible, at which point it will be off the table.

    • 5by5

      If you’ve watched this guy on C-Span for more than five seconds, you’d know he’s totally serious about this.

      • Argosy Jones

        Impeachment requires a majority of the house and a 2/3 majority of the senate. Democrats can’t do this because they don’t have the votes. Peter De Fazio knows this very well; he has no possible means of carrying out this threat. That is what I call blowing smoke. De Fazio is not fooling anyone who knows the score.

        The second that Democrats gain a house majority again, De Fazio will be made to shut up by his own party who had no interest in impeaching Bush or Roberts when they had the chance.

        So what is De Fazio up to? I’d say that he was trying to draw attention to his election campaign by bringing up a hot button issue that gets people excited. This is the perfect campaign issue… people get excited over it, but it will not require any follow through and have no downstream consequences

  • Argosy Jones

    I’m pretty sure DeFazio is blowing smoke. With republicans in control of all house committees it won’t even be going to the senate, which would require a 2/3 majority to remove Roberts. This is the equivalent of Pelosi’s discussion of impeaching Bush while she was the minority leader of the House– It’ll continue to be talked about until it becomes possible, at which point it will be off the table.

  • Girlindaytona

    Finally a Democrat has grown some balls. We need to show the radical conservatives who have threatened to overthrow our elected government via impeachment that two can play the same game. Now let’s start recall petitions against members of Congress so they have to hire lawyers to defend themselves. Two can play the same game.

  • Girlindaytona

    Finally a Democrat has grown some balls. We need to show the radical conservatives who have threatened to overthrow our elected government via impeachment that two can play the same game. Now let’s start recall petitions against members of Congress so they have to hire lawyers to defend themselves. Two can play the same game.

  • 5by5

    While he’s at it, he should go after Scalia for conflict of interest. He never recused himself from a case in which his son was offered a job by one of the plaintiffs.

  • Anonymous

    While he’s at it, he should go after Scalia for conflict of interest. He never recused himself from a case in which his son was offered a job by one of the plaintiffs.

  • Anonymous

    If you’ve watched this guy on C-Span for more than five seconds, you’d know he’s totally serious about this.

  • Simiantongue

    The real left has made it voice quite clear by cleaning house this last election. Republicans though it was a win, nothing could be further from the truth. Judging by the turnouts it wasn’t republican support that won them those seats, the only thing extraordinary that happened was that Democrats didn’t turn out in disgust. Dems were merely cleaning house at an opportune time. 80 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, only 3 lost their seats, while the neoliberal Blue Dog Caucus, with 54 members, lost 26, or almost half of its ranks.

    DeFazio is setting a good example for the rest of the Democrats. They had better start kicking ass and taking names. Or it’s out with the dogs.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      God I hope you’re correct.

      I’ve done a lot of soul searching about this one lately. I will never believe that Obama was ‘just as bad as the Republicans’–but now in the face of his outright capitulation on the Bush era tax cut thingy, I think he may have just forfeited my last bit of confidence in him.

      I knew all the pundits called this thing for the Right a long, long time ago. While I understood why they did, I could never believe that the public would have been so goddamned stupid as to think the cure for an illness would be more poison. I never thought the slaughter would be this horrific.

      But Obama seems to have surrendered his one chance at salvation, a heroic last stand. I understood this guy’s virtue to be a savvy progressive pragmatism, but now I see that he lacks the necessary guts of a street fighter. Maybe it was just Rahm Emmanuel propping him up all these years. Don’t know.

      So my mind turns back to another historic Democratic collapse–1968. Johnson may have had some partially redeeming virtues in his “Great Society” program, but he essentially pissed it all away with Vietnam. Bobby Kennedy could have picked up the pieces had he not been assasinated.

      In the aftermath of that all the Dems had to run was Hubert Humphrey. I admit he’s kind of in my blind spot of American history, but if memory serves correct, Hunter S. Thompson pretty much regarded him as a shitstain. Hunter always had a good heart if not a good head.

      Who’s gonna be around for 2012? Will he have the both the support and discipline needed to carry this thing off? My sense is that the two criteria may be competing–if he wants support he’s gonna have to be Left, but it seems unusual for the Left to inspire much discipline.

      I admit I’m lost in this. I don’t have a fucking clue who could step in now.

  • Simiantongue

    The real left has made it voice quite clear by cleaning house this last election. Republicans though it was a win, nothing could be further from the truth. Judging by the turnouts it wasn’t republican support that won them those seats, the only thing extraordinary that happened was that Democrats didn’t turn out in disgust. Dems were merely cleaning house at an opportune time. 80 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, only 3 lost their seats, while the neoliberal Blue Dog Caucus, with 54 members, lost 26, or almost half of its ranks.

    DeFazio is setting a good example for the rest of the Democrats. They had better start kicking ass and taking names. Or it’s out with the dogs.

  • Argosy Jones

    Impeachment requires a majority of the house and a 2/3 majority of the senate. Democrats can’t do this because they don’t have the votes. Peter De Fazio knows this very well; he has no possible means of carrying out this threat. That is what I call blowing smoke. De Fazio is not fooling anyone who knows the score.

    The second that Democrats gain a house majority again, De Fazio will be made to shut up by his own party who had no interest in impeaching Bush or Roberts when they had the chance.

    So what is De Fazio up to? I’d say that he was trying to draw attention to his election campaign by bringing up a hot button issue that gets people excited. This is the perfect campaign issue… people get excited over it, but it will not require any follow through and have no downstream consequences

  • Liam_McGonagle

    God I hope you’re correct.

    I’ve done a lot of soul searching about this one lately. I will never believe that Obama was ‘just as bad as the Republicans’–but now in the face of his outright capitulation on the Bush era tax cut thingy, I think he may have just forfeited my last bit of confidence in him.

    I knew all the pundits called this thing for the Right a long, long time ago. While I understood why they did, I could never believe that the public would have been so goddamned stupid as to think the cure for an illness would be more poison. I never thought the slaughter would be this horrific.

    But Obama seems to have surrendered his one chance at salvation, a heroic last stand. I understood this guy’s virtue to be a savvy progressive pragmatism, but now I see that he lacks the necessary guts of a street fighter. Maybe it was just Rahm Emmanuel propping him up all these years. Don’t know.

    So my mind turns back to another historic Democratic collapse–1968. Johnson may have had some partially redeeming virtues in his “Great Society” program, but he essentially pissed it all away with Vietnam. Bobby Kennedy could have picked up the pieces had he not been assasinated.

    In the aftermath of that all the Dems had to run was Hubert Humphrey. I admit he’s kind of in my blind spot of American history, but if memory serves correct, Hunter S. Thompson pretty much regarded him as a shitstain. Hunter always had a good heart if not a good head.

    Who’s gonna be around for 2012? Will he have the both the support and discipline needed to carry this thing off? My sense is that the two criteria may be competing–if he wants support he’s gonna have to be Left, but it seems unusual for the Left to inspire much discipline.

    I admit I’m lost in this. I don’t have a fucking clue who could step in now.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Yeah! Go DeFazio! He’s my representative.

  • Anarchy Wolf

    Yeah! Go DeFazio! He’s my representative.

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