Skip to comments.Oklahoma House seeks to impeach half of the state Supreme Court
Posted on 04/26/2014 5:09:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
This story hasn’t garnered a lot of attention nationally yet, but it definitely will be of interest in terms of questions surrounding activist judges and courts as well as issues of states’ rights. To put the background in thumbnail version, there are two criminals who were convicted of crimes involving children more heinous then I would care to detail on these pages. They were subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. However, in the course of the appeals process, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court granted a stay of execution. This riled not only the Governor, but several members of the House. (For a full and excellent background on the case, also involving some of the details of these terrible crimes – you have been warned – see this full summary at Redstate.)
While the issue of the stay has since been resolved, the matter wasn’t dropped. And now, the House is moving to address their complaints with the five justices who ordered the stay.
I mentioned yesterday that the recent order by the Oklahoma Supreme Court staying an execution had riled members of the legislature and the states governor who refused to acknowledge the order. According to media reports that stay has now been lifted however there is an effort underway to impeach the 5 justice majority that ordered the stay (h/t Gavel Grab for the pointer).
HR 1059 has now been introduced and is replicated below
HR1059 is a bit lengthy to begin pasting in pertinent sections here without turning this into a legal opus filled with far too many WHEREASs and all manner of legal speak for anyone to sit through, but you can follow the link above to read the text. The question here which will probably absorb observers for some time to come is whether rendering a judgement which the legislative and executive branches at the state level disagree with will be found as valid grounds to impeach them. There may be a sympathetic ear in many quarters (including yours truly) to say that setting aside the judgement of the lower court warrants kicking them out. But is that truly a valid reason for impeachment?
The reason I ask is that we have divided government with a lot of antipathy between the sides in many other states (not to mention in Washington) as well. If the courts render judgements we don’t like, providing they provide some sort of explanation in their written decisions, should we start giving them the boot? I’ll want to hear from some lawyers on this one, but it seems rather contrary to the entire concept of the separation of the powers of the three branches. What do you think?
HOORAY Oklahoma House!
Probably need to be impeached. If the defense wanted to really determine the exact compounding they could have requested that a sample of the drug be tested by an independent lab. What they are trying to do is have the US capitulate to the desires of the third world EU which is against capital punishment and to threaten the compounding pharmacy that prepared the drugs.
They tried the same tactic in Texas.
Many are self destructing due to in our face arrogant corruption as we speak. There might be hope for us after all.
There are two levels of government at work, here. For years, federal judges, often personally opposed to the death penalty, have horned in to delay and deny justice at every opportunity.
Addressing the federal problems will be done with a Republican congress, and conservatives as chairmen of the judiciary committees. They can solve many of these problems by doing a few things:
1) Declare the individual states to be “competent authorities” to carry out the death penalty as they see fit. This means no more niggling over the means of execution, canceling a vast number of potential federal appeals.
2) Move all death penalty appeals to the front of the federal docket, so there is no need to wait years before a hearing. Then limit continuances to one month each for the opposing sides, and one month at the discretion of the judge.
Ideally, this will move federal and state death penalty cases through the system in years instead of decades.
But importantly, since most death penalties are issued by the states, the focus will be like in this case, of state legislatures cracking down on state judges who are personally opposed to the death penalty.
A few state and federal judicial scalps per year would do wonders.
Bout time SOMEBODY did something to hold judges accountable!
To understand what is happening, it is important to know that in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals IS NOT A LOWER COURT! ! ! ! !
In the Oklahoma system, as in some other states, criminal jurisdiction is totally separate from civil jurisdiction. The Court of Criminal Appeals IS THE HIGHEST court in the State for criminal matters and is fully equal with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
What the Oklahoma Supreme Court did was to UNCONSTITUTIONALLY (State Constitution) try to halt an execution without any jurisdiction. This is what is impeachable. You have heard from the Governor, you have heard from the Legislature, but what you are not hearing is how absolutely livid are the Justices on the Criminal Court of Appeals. What they are saying is not printable on this forum. The Supremes (as we call them) can't stand it that they don't have power over the Crims. This was the wrong ploy.
Get some popcorn. This will be interesting. In the end, I doubt impeachment will be completed. But a loud and strong message is being sent.
Again, this really isn't about a wrong decision. This is seen as a usurpation of power.
Probably it will just be a temper tantrum. Some more products of amoral schools, PC colleges and anti-Constitution law schools will replace them.
Iowa ousted a couple Supreme Court Justices, but the legal profession is unbowed and just as arrogant as ever. No change in the kind of nominees to the bench, or to their attitudes.
RE: What the Oklahoma Supreme Court did was to UNCONSTITUTIONALLY (State Constitution) try to halt an execution without any jurisdiction.
Well, if the OK Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over executions, what’s to stop the executive branch from IGNORING their decision?
Can’t they just tell the Supreme Court to take a hike?
What consequences will there be for the governor?
Yeah how ballsey is Fallon?
And judging by the comments above, that's true here. Feelings are clouding reason
The bill to impeach is inappropriate because, even though I disagree with the Olklahoma Supreme Court's ruling, an to the United States Supreme Court is the proper first step to remedy the problem created by five judges who sided with the majority opinion in which the Court unconstitutionally exceeded its jurisdiction. The basis of the bill, in relevant part, is: "WHEREAS, the Justices who have agreed to the majority Opinion 7 have exercised jurisdiction in a matter properly decided only by the 8 Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals;"
If no party appeals, or the Supremes fail to fix the problem, i.e., reverse the Oklahoma Supreme Court for exceeding it's jurisdiction, then legislation to impeach should enacted, but not before (or legislation that allows impeachment after appeal to the Supreme Court). We are, after all, a nation of laws. Lex Rex.
Cant they just tell the Supreme Court to take a hike?
The Crims DID ! And in no uncertain terms. That’s why the Supremes backed up and ate crow. They probably aren’t through dining, yet, either.
Thank you for making this clear. I, for one, very much appreciate hearing from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Thank you for the inside baseball there in OK.
Judges cannot stand other judges stepping on their toes.
Sounds like the OKSC was taking precedence in a case that was not under their jurisdiction.
If only it were a trend progressing to the federal level! Great job Oklahoma!
Thank you for your excellent and informative post. A lot of what you said should have been included in the original article, because only having read your post do I now understand why this is an issue and yes, most certainly impeachable.
We are hanging by a thread all over, but this is egregious and insupportable by any stretch of the imagination (I’m assuming there is NO doubt of the guilt of the parties and no I’m not going to the hot air link to read about disgusting things that will only upset me).
Obama more than deserves to be impeached also but the one freaking thing I don’t want to see happen to that guy is to have him obtain some status as a “martyr” so i’m afraid in his very special (as always for him, very special) case it’s out.
Judges persist in issuing orders that have no basis either in precedent or in the written constitutions they have sworn to defend.
Such judges need to be defied and they need to be impeached. Not obeyed.
- Thomas Sowell
I plan on remembering the names of those Supreme Court Justices that tried to claim jurisdiction. Even if not impeached they need to be voted out next time they come up for a vote.
Bless their hearts. Go get ‘em!!!
Thank you for the concise explanation of the fundamental issue. All is now understandable.
.........Thanks for clearing that up!