Pennsylvania Bar Association slams Republican impeachment attempt
Pennsylvania House Republicans are calling for the impeachment of four of five Democratic justices serving the state’s Supreme Court.
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Earlier this week, a dozen Republican lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives called for the impeachment of four of the five Democratic justices serving in the state’s Supreme Court because of their decision to strike down Pennsylvania’ gerrymandered congressional district map.
On Thursday, Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, one of two Republicans in the court, said that he was “very concerned” by the decision of his Republican colleagues to file impeachment resolutions.
“Threats of impeachment directed against Justices because of their decision in a particular case are an attack upon an independent judiciary, which is an essential component of our constitutional plan of government,” Saylor said in a statement.
The same day, Sharon López, President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), released a statement that her organization shares the chief justice’s concern. The PBA, which is a group comprised of 26,000 lawyers, works to “promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.”
“The judiciary must have the independence to interpret the law without political interference or threats of impeachment by another branch of our democracy,” López said in the statement. “The independence of our judiciary and the separation of powers among our judicial, legislative and executive branches are essential to maintaining our government.
“Calls for impeachment are not supported by the Pennsylvania Constitution which makes clear that public officials can be impeached ‘for any misbehavior in office,’” she continued. “There is no misbehavior tied to the court’s ruling.”