Gavel Grab

MO Proposal Would Add New Grounds for Impeaching Judges

Under a proposed constitutional amendment introduced in Missouri, judges could be impeached if they “make certain decisions that fail to interpret the state’s constitution as originally understood by voters,” according to Gavel to Gavel.

Gavel to Gavel is a publication of the National Center for State Courts, and it tracks legislation introduced in the states. Its article says the Missouri proposal provides for a three-step system for judicial decisions and threatens with impeachment any judge who fails to follow the three-step test.

A bill summary available at the state Senate’s website says the measure “delineates procedures a court must follow when assessing a claim against a government entity, that such entity has enforced a law or policy that might limit a person’s exercise of a right or freedom enumerated by the Missouri Constitution or penalize a person for exercising such right or freedom.”

“When politicians threaten to remove judges from office for a single ruling, it strikes at the heart of the checks and balances system embedded in our democracy,” Justice at Stake said last year about judicial impeachment threats in another state, Oklahoma. The National Center for State Courts is a JAS partner organization.

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