Some House Republicans have talked about impeaching wayward judges for quite some time. According to this story, they have finally found a target.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced a resolution to allow his committee to investigate U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, who has served on the federal bench in Los Angeles since 1966. The committee would then consider whether impeachment proceedings are warranted, Sensenbrenner said.Judge Real was accused of misconduct for his handling of a bnakruptcy case. The allegations were reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, which decided not to discipline him over the strenuous objections of some of the panel members. Judge Kozinski, in particular, wrote a withering dissent. (The opinions are here.)
If the impeachment proceedings proceed, this would not be the first time a federal judge was impeached.
Thirteen federal judges have been impeached over the years, according to the Federal Judicial Center. The first was in 1803, when John Pickering, serving in the District of New Hampshire, was impeached on charges of mental instability and intoxication on the bench.
Most recently, Alcee L. Hastings of the Southern District of Florida was impeached in 1989 on charges of perjury and conspiring to solicit a bribe. The same year, Walter L. Nixon of the Southern District of Mississippi was impeached on perjury charges. Both were convicted by the Senate and removed from office.
Hastings is now a Democratic congressman from Florida.