Rep. Lamar Smith: No Impeachment of Judge Vaughan Walker

Though the Religious Right was universally outraged by Judge Vaughan Walker’s ruling striking down Proposition, only the American Family Association went so far as to demand his immediate impeachment:

Judge Walker’s ruling is not “good Behaviour.” He has exceeded his constitutional authority and engaged in judicial tyranny.

Judges are not, in fact, unaccountable. They are accountable to Congress, which can remove them from office.

Impeachment proceedings, according to the Constitution, begin in the House of Representatives. It’s time for you to put your congressman on record regarding the possible impeachment of Judge Walker.

Yesterday, Rep. Lamar Smith, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, was the guest on Bryan Fischer’s radio program and Fischer wanted to know if they had any plans to try and impeach Walker and Smith told him flat-out that it wasn’t going to happen:

Fischer: Judges are in fact accountable to Congress, they have the power of impeachment, they serve only during good behavior. It’s my opinion that this is bad behavior. Is there any sense in which the House of Representatives would consider this an impeachable offense for a judge?

Smith: We have done a lot of research on that subject, since I’m the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and quite frankly this doesn’t rise to the normal level of impeachment, as much as we might disagree with the opinion. Ultimately, of course, the solution is to elect presidents who will appoint federal judges who do not legislate from the bench and who do not engage in judicial activism. But I do not think that we would be successful in an impeachment move, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do something about it by way of a resolution, by way of making elections about these kinds of appointments.

I guess I should point out that Walker was nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan.