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to excite public fears and indignation and "to produce that insubordination to law to which the conduct of the judge did, at the same time, manifestly tend";
(4) in “repeated and vexatious interruptions of defendant's counsel, which induced them to withdraw from the case”; and
(5) in manifesting "an indecent solicitude" for the defendant's conviction, “unbecoming even a public prosecutor, but highly disgraceful to the character of a judge, as it was subversive of jus
Article V charged that Chase had issued a bench warrant rather than a summons in the libel case, contrary to law.23
Article VI charged that Chase refused a continuance of the libel trial to the next term of court, contrary to law and “with intent to oppress and procure the conviction” of the defendant.24
Article VII charged that Chase, "disregarding the duties of his office, did descend from the dignity of a judge and stoop to the level of an informer" by refusing to discharge a grand jury and by charging it to investigate a printer for sedition, with intention to procure the prosecution of the printer, "thereby degrading his high judicial functions and tending to impair the public confidence in,
and respect for, the tribunals of justice, so essential to the general welfare." 25
Article VIII charged that Chase, "disregarding the duties and dignity of his judicial character," did “pervert his official right and duty to address" a grand jury by delivering "an intemperate and inflammatory political harangue with intent to excite the fears and resentment” of the grand jury and the people of Maryland against their state government and constitution, “a conduct highly censurable in any, but peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in a Justice of the Supreme Court. This article also charged that Chase endeavored "to excite the odium” of the grand jury and the people of Maryland against the government of the United States “by delivering opinions, which, even if the judicial authority were competent to their expression, on a suitable occasion and in a proper manner, were at that time, and 'as delivered by him, highly indecent, extra-judicial, and tending to prostitute the high judicial character with which he was invested, to the low purpose of an electioneering partisan." c. Proceedings in the Senate
Justice Chase was acquitted on each article by votes ranging from 0–34 not guilty on Article V to 19–15 guilty on Article VIII.27
4. DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES H. PECK (1830-1831)
a. Proceedinigs in the House
The House adopted a resolution in 1830 authorizing an inquiry respecting District Judge Peck.28 The Judiciary Committee reported a resolution that Peck “be impeached of high misdemeanors in office": to the House, which adopted it by a vote of 123 to 49.29
22 1d. 729-30. 23 Id. 730. 24 Id. * Id. 730-31. » Id. 731. 27 Id. 665-69 (1805). 28 H.R. JOUR., 21st Cong., 1st Sess. 138 (1830). * 6 CONG. DEB. 819 (1830).
b. Article of Impeachment
After the House voted in favor of impeachment, a committee was appointed to prepare articles. The single article proposed and finally adopted by the House charged that Peck, "unmindful of the solemn duties of his station," and "with interest in wrongfully and unjustly to oppress, imprison, and otherwise injure” an attorney who had published a newspaper article criticizing one of the judge's opinions, had brought the attorney before the court and, under “the color and pretences” of a contempt proceeding, had caused the attorney to be imprisoned briefly and suspended from practice for eighteen months. The House charged that Peck's conduct resulted in "the great disparagement of public justice, the abuse of judicial authority, and the subversion of the liberties of the people of the United States.” 30 c. Proceedings in the Senate
The trial in the Senate focused on two issues. One issue was whether Peck, by punishing the attorney for writing a newspaper article, had exceeded the limits of judicial contempt power under Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The other contested issue was the requirement of proving wrongful intent.
Judge Peck was acquitted on the single article with twenty-one Senators voting in favor of conviction and twenty-two Senators against. 31
5. DISTRICT JUDGE WEST H. HUMPHREYS (1862)
a. Proceedings in the House
A resolution authorizing an inquiry by the Judiciary Committee respecting District Judge Humphreys was adopted in 1862.32 Humphreys was subsequently impeached at the recommendation of the investigating committee. 33 b. Articles of Impeachment
Soon after the adoption of the impeachment resolution, seven articles of impeachment were agreed to by the House without debate.34
Article I charged that in disregard of his "duties as a citizen . and unmindful of the duties of his office" as a judge, Humphreys "endeavor[ed] by public speech to incite revolt and rebellion” against the United States; and publicly declared that the people of Tennessee had the right to absolve themselves of allegiance to the United States.
Article II charged that, disregarding his duties as a citizen, his obligations as a judge, and the “good behavior” clause of the Constitution, Humphreys advocated and agreed to Tennessee's ordinance of secession.
Article III charged that Humphreys organized armed rebellion against the United States and waged war against them.
Article IV charged Humphreys with conspiracy to violate a civil war statute that made it a criminal offense "to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United States."
30 10. 869. For text of article, see H.R. JOUR., 21st Cong., 1st Sess. 591-96 (1830). 81 7 CONG. DEB. 45 (1831). 8 CONG. GLOBE, 37th Cong., 2d Sess. 229 (1862). 38 Id. 1966-67. * Id. 2205.
Article V charged that, with intent to prevent the administration of the laws of the United States and to overthrow the authority of the United States, Humphreys had failed to perform his federal judicial duties for nearly a year.
Article VI alleged that Judge Humphreys had continued to hold court in his state, calling it the district court of the Confederate States of America. Article VI was divided into three specifications, related to Humphreys' acts while sitting as a Confederate judge. The first specification charged that Humphreys endeavored to coerce a Union supporter to swear allegiance to the Confederacy. The second charged that he ordered the confiscation of private property on behalf of the Confederacy. The third charged that he jailed Union sympathizers. who resisted the Confederacy.
Article VII charged that while sitting as a Confederate judge, Humphreys unlawfully arrested and imprisoned a Union supporter. c. Proceedings in the Senate
Humphreys could not be personally served with the impeachment summons because he had fied Union territory.35 He neither appeared at the trial nor contested the charges.
The Senate convicted Humphreys of all charges except the confiscation of property on behalf of the Confederacy, which several Senators stated had not been properly proved.36 The voto ranged from 38–0 guilty on Articles I and IV to 11-24 not guilty on specification two of Article VI.
6. PRESIDENT ANDREW JOHNSON (1867-1868)
a. Proceedings in the House
The House adopted a resolution in 1867 authorizing the Judiciary Committee to inquire into the conduct of President Johnson.37 A majority of the committee recommended impeachment,38 but the House voted against the resolution, 108 to 57.39 În 1868, however, the House authorized an inquiry by the Committee on Reconstruction, which reported an impeachment resolution after President Johnson had removed Secretary of War Stanton from office. The House voted to impeach, 128–47.40 b. Articles of Impeachment
Nine of the eleven articles drawn by a select committee and adopted by the House related solely to the President's removal of Stanton. The removal allegedly violated the recently enacted Tenure of Office Act, +1 which also categorized it as a “high misdemeanor." 42
The House voted on each of the first nine articles separately; the tenth and eleventh articles were adopted the following day. Article I charged that Johnson,
unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath cf office,
86 Id. 2617. 30 Id. 2950. 87 CONG. GLOBE, 39th Cong., 2d Sess. 320–21 (1867). 88 H.R. REP. No. 7, 40th Cong., 1st Sess. 59 (1867). 30 CONG. GLOBE, 40th Cong., 2d Sess. 68 (1867). 40 CONG. GLOBE, 40th Cong., 2d Sess. 1400 (1868). 4 Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 430. Id. $ 6.
take care that the laws be faithfully executed, did unlawfully
Stanton. Article I concluded that President Johnson had committed a high misdemeanor in office." 43
Articles II and III characterized the President's conduct in the same terms but charged him with the allegedly unlawful appointment of Stanton's replacement.
Article IV charged that Johnson, with intent, unlawfully conspired with the replacement for Stanton and Members of the House of Representatives to "hinder and prevent” Stanton from holding his office.
Article V, a variation of the preceding article, charged a conspiracy to prevent the execution of the Tenure of Office Act, in addition to a conspiracy to prevent Stanton from holding his office.
Article VI charged Johnson with conspiring with Stanton's designated replacement, "by force to seize, take and possess” government property in Stanton's possession, in violation of both an "act to define and punish certain conspiracies and the Tenure of Office Act.
Article VII charged the same offense, but as a violation of the Tenure of Office Act only.
Article VIII alleged that Johnson, by appointing a new Secretary of War, had, “with intent unlawfully to control the disbursements of the moneys appropriated for the military service and for the Department of War," violated the provisions of the Tenure of Office Act.
Article IX charged that Johnson, in his role as Commander in Chief, had instructed the General in charge of the military forces in Washington that part of the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional, with intent to induce the General, in his official capacity as commander of the Department of Washington, to prevent the execution of the Tenure of Office Act.
Article X, which was adopted by amendment after the first nine articles, alleged that Johnson,
unmindful of the high duties of his office and the dignity
for the Congress and legislative power thereof by making certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues.” In addition, the same speeches were alleged to have brought the high office of the President into "contempt, ridicule, and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good citizens."
Article XI combined the conduct charged in Article X and the nine other articles to allege that Johnson had attempted to prevent the execution of both the Tenure of Office Act and an act relating to army appropriations by unlawfully devising and contriving means
by which he could remove Stanton from office.
43 For text of articles, see Con. GLOBD, 40th Cong., 2d Sess. 1603-18, 1642 (1868).
c. Proceedings in the Senate
The Senate voted only on Articles II, III, and XI, and President Johnson was acquitted on each, 35 guilty—19 not guilty, one vote short of the two-thirds required to convict.14 d. Miscellaneous
All of the articles relating to the dismissal of Stanton alleged indictable offenses. Article X did not allege an indictable offense, but this article was never voted on by the Senate.
7. DISTRICT JUDGE MARK H. DELAHAY (1873)
a. Proceedings in the House
A resolution authorizing an inquiry by the Judiciary Committee respecting District Judge Delahay was adopted by the House in 1872.45 In 1873 the committee proposed a resolution of impeachment for "high crimes and misdemeanors in office,” which the House 46 adopted. b. Subsequent Proceedings
Delahay resigned before articles of impeachment were prepared, and the matter was not pursued further by the House. The charge against him had been described in the House as follows:
The most grevious charge, and that which is beyond all question, was that his personal habits unfitted him for the judicial office, that he was intoxicated off the bench as well as on the bench.47
8. SECRETARY OF WAR WILLIAM W. BELKNAP (1876)
a. Proceedings in the House
In 1876 the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department 48 unanimously recommended impeachment of Secretary Belknap "for high crimes and misdemeanors while in office," and the House unanimously adopted the resolution." b. Articles of Impeachment
Five articles of impeachment were drafted by the Judiciary Committee 50 and adopted by the House, all relating to Belknap's allegedly corrupt appointment of a military post trader. The House agreed to the articles as a group, without voting separately on each.5
Article I charged Belknap with "high crimes and misdemeanors in office” for unlawfully receiving sums of
money, in consideration for the appointment, made by him as Secretary of War. 52
Article II charged Belknap with a "high misdemeanor in office" for "willfully, corruptly, and unlawfully" taking and receiving money in return for the continued maintenance of the post trader.53
Article III charged that Belknap was "criminally disregarding his duty as Secretary of War, and basely prostituting his high office to
44 Cong. GLOBE SUPP., 40th Cong., 2d Sess. 415 (1868).
48 The Committee was authorized to investigate the Department of the Army generally. 13 CONG. REC. 414 (1876).
14 CÔNG. RBC. 1428 33 (1876). 50 15 CONG. Rüc. 2081-82 (1876). 51 11. 2160 E? Id. 2159.