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JUDGE WATCH: Impeachments of Keller and Kent Advancing Side by Side

Just think. A year ago Christmas, you would have been reading about Sharon Keller, Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and Samuel Kent, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas (Galveston Branch) with respect. The news reports would have been dealing with some case before them, or maybe some speech they gave at a civic event.

Today, the media coverage for both of them is all about their respective falls from grace.

The Kent – Keller Impeachment Race

We’ve already posted details about Justice Keller and Judge Kent here, no need to go back through those scandalous tales about how the two got to where they are today. However, there are new things on the horizon — things that they now share. In a strange twist of fate, the two are in an Impeachment Race.

On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives Began Its Impeachment Process Against Judge Kent

The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers (D-Michigan) and the Committee’s top Republican, Lamar Smith, are asking that Kent resign. Otherwise, the House is going to proceed with impeachment proceedings.

Why? Conyers and Smith don’t want Judge Kent to get that $169,000 annual retirement pension that he’s manuevering to get … as we posted earlier, Kent is too young to get full retirement benefits based upon his age, so he’s asserting a disability (it’s grown to bipolar disorder since our last post) to keep that income (and assorted benefits) coming in.

Status: On May 12, 2009, HJC Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) filed articles of impeachment against Kent. On May 13, 2009, the HJC voted to investigate Judge Kent for possible impeachment. So, the Congressional investigation has begun.

On April 28th, Texas State Rep Lon Burham Promised a Formal Motion to Impeach Keller Will Be Filed Soon with the Texas House

On April 28, 2009, on the steps of the Texas Capitol, State Representative Lon Burham (D-Fort Worth), called for the impeachment of Chief Justice Sharon Keller. Burham has told the media that he will be filing a formal motion to impeach Keller as soon as he collected enough votes to win that motion on a vote.

Status: Burham has already filed a resolution that establishes procedures for articles of impeachment to be created and voted upon, and the Texas House has already begun hearing testimony on the bill to impeach Justice Keller.

Over at Grits For Breakfast, there’s talk that Burham will be able to get this to a record vote before the end of the session — and if he does, and the vote comes down in favor of impeachment, then Justice Keller will be temporarily removed from office until her impeachment trial by the Senate is completed.

Impeachment Race Status: Kent is in the lead, but Keller’s coming around the bend.

Sources:

Houston Chronicle
http://www.newschannel10.com/Global/story.asp?S=10355654

Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/13/house-starts-impeachment-proceedings-federal-judge-sex-case/

Daily Texan
http://www.dailytexanonline.com/representative-initiates-efforts-for-impeachment-of-sharon-keller-1.1736566

Grits for Breakfast
http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/05/sharon-keller-out-by-2010.html


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