Constitutional Law

Unanimous House Committee OKs Impeachment Articles for Federal Judge


By a unanimous vote, the House Judiciary Committee today approved four articles of impeachment for U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.

The articles, which assert a three-decade course of claimed misconduct, will now go to the full House of Representatives for a vote on whether to impeach the 63-year-old Eastern District of Louisiana jurist. If they are approved, a trial will then be held in the Senate—probably within weeks rather than months—in which a two-thirds vote would be required to remove Porteous from his lifetime appointment to the federal bench, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Among other allegations, the articles accuse Porteous, who has refused to resign, of corruptly accepting gifts from a bail bondsman while a state-court judge, concealing assets during a personal bankruptcy case and misleading Congress by concealing his history of corruption during his 1994 confirmation process, reports the Blog of Legal Times.

However, the judge’s lawyer, Richard Westling of Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver, has argued that the House shouldn’t take into account his client’s conduct while on the state-court bench and points out that the U.S. Department of Justice declined to prosecute Porteous.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Testimony: Fed’l Judge Owed $150K on Credit Cards, Got $20K from 2 Lawyers”

ABAJournal.com: “As House Panel Says ‘Impeach,’ Lawyer for Fed’l Judge Minimizes Corruption Claims”

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