Senate removes Federal Judge Porteous from the bench

Walter Nixon

Judge G. Thomas Porteous is the first federal judge since Walter Nixon, pictured here, to be impeached. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous has been removed from office by the United States Senate. Porteous was convicted on four impeachment counts by the Senate related to corruption charges. He cannot serve in public office ever again.

Senate convicts Federal Judge Porteous

Federal Judge G. Thomas Porteous has been found guilty on four different impeachment charges by the U.S. Senate and was therefore removed from office, according to CNN. Porteous was found to have engaged in conduct unacceptable for a federal judge, stemming from allegations of corruption. Judge Porteous, appointed to the bench in Louisiana under President Clinton, allegedly accepted gifts and cash from people that have been in his court in order to pay gambling debts, according to the Los Angeles Times. He cannot hold public office in the United States again.

How impeachment works

In impeaching federal officials, the allegations are weighed by the House of Representatives, who can vote to begin an impeachment trial or not. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate carries out the investigation and impeachment trial proceedings. Should a person be found guilty of an impeachable offense in the Senate trial, including misconduct, that person can be found guilty of impeachment articles and removed from office. The Senate has not had an impeachment trial since 1999, when then-President Bill Clinton was looking at impeachment for lying about sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was famously and very closely acquitted.

Eighth federal judge to be impeached

Porteous is only the eighth judge on the federal judge to be impeached. The last judge to be impeached and removed from office was Walter Nixon of Mississippi, who was found to have committed perjury and was removed from office in 1989. Last year, Judge Samuel Kent of Texas resigned after being impeached by the House of Representatives but before the Senate could try him for impeachment.



Los Angeles Times

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