Saturday, June 25, 2011

4 Ways to Remove Justice Prosser from Office

Think Progress:
  1. Resignation: The most obvious solution is that Prosser should immediately step down from his position on the state supreme court. It should be self evident that a violent felon has no business as a judge — much less as a supreme court justice — and if Prosser truely possess the independent judgment he claimed to have in his recent reelection campaign this fact should be clear to him as well
  2. Impeachment: The Wisconsin Constitution permits judges to be removed through an impeachment trial and conviction. As under the U.S. Constitution, this process requires a majority vote in the state assembly to begin impeachment proceedings and a two-thirds vote in the senate to convict. Impeachment could potentially be the quickest way to prevent Prosser from ruling on any more cases until this matter is resolved, as the state constitution provides that “[n]o judicial officer shall exercise his office, after he shall have been impeached, until his acquittal.”
  3. Removal by Address: A supermajority of both houses of the state legislature can also remove Prosser through a process known as “removal by address.” Under this process, “Any justice or judge may be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature, if two−thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein.”
  4. Recall: As a last resort, Prosser may be removed by a recall election using the same process that was recently invoked to attempt to recall several state senators. Under Wisconsin law, however, elected officials enjoy a one year grace period during the beginning of their term in office where they are immune from recall. Because Prosser was just recently reelected, this means he could continue to serve as a justice for quite a while before a recall election could take place.

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