Judicial Impeachment Sought in MO

It’s been a busy year for efforts to impeach judges, according to our friends who write the Gavel to Gavel blog, and one of the latest impeachment bids was made in Missouri.

Articles of impeachment against St. Louis Circuit Judge John A. Ross were filed by Rochelle Walton Gray, a Missouri House member, on the very day that Judge Ross was scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. He is a nominee to the federal bench in Missouri.

Judge Ross is accused of “judicial activism” and racial discrimination in the impeachment articles. They sound a good deal like points raised in a letter opposing Judge Ross’ nomination that was sent by Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat. “It has come to my attention that Judge Ross had jeopardized the integrity of our judicial system while substituting his own political opinions for the applicable law,” the letter states.

Judge Ross denied at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing  the statements in Clay’s letter and suggested it had “significant inaccuracies.” It appears that no action will be taken on the impeachment articles, according to Gavel to Gavel, which is published by the National Center for State Courts, a JAS partner.

Meanwhile, the blog also reported that Nebraska, an early state to adopt merit selection of judges, is considering a measure telling the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee “to conduct an interim study to examine issues surrounding judicial independence including, but not limited to, Nebraska’s current method of judicial retention.”

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